Airmen ‘lean forward’ to support East Coast relief efforts


 Airmen ‘lean forward’ to support East Coast relief efforts

Posted 11/1/2012   Updated 11/1/2012
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by 18th Air Force PUblic Affairs

11/1/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – In the wake of President Obama’s call for the federal government to “lean forward” in response to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, Airmen from across the country are answering the call.

Aircraft and crews from 12 active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve bases across the nation are mobilized to arrive at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., where they are slated to pick up approximately 10 passengers and 632 short tons of equipment and supplies supporting relief efforts on the East Coast.

The passengers and cargo, including 69 vehicles belonging to the Southern California Edison utility company, are slated to arrive at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, N.Y. at around 2:30 p.m., after which they will move out to support efforts to restore power and provide humanitarian assistance to the stricken region. Media reports have stated that more than two million people still remain without power in the aftermath of the superstorm.

The movement is expected to require the use of five C-5s and approximately 12 C-17s. A C-5B from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and C-17 from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., are among the first aircraft scheduled to depart March Thursday morning.

The rapid response was made possible through the combined efforts of planners at U.S Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command’s 18th Air Force and the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) here operating as part of the U.S. Northern Command-led effort supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s storm response efforts. Days before the storm made landfall, these same planners had already begun preparations to move personnel and aircraft out of harm’s way – preserving their readiness to respond after the storm had passed.

Since then, America’s total force mobility team has turned its attention to support of recovery efforts. To that end, and in response to a USNORTHCOM tasking, Airmen quickly put together the ambitious plan to rapidly move personnel and supplies to stabilize and improve conditions in the region.

Airmen offer unique capabilities to the federal effort, including airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation support. Those capabilities delivered hope to those in need overseas after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and last year’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan as well as here at home in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav.

Article source: http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123324657

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