Crews from Joint base Charleston have been deployed to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“Our first utilization of these alert aircraft occurred yesterday,” said Lt. Col. Erin Meinders, 437th Operations Group deputy commander. “We had two crews launch to prepare for the President's visit to the region."
On Tuesday, two C-17 Globemaster III cargo and transport aircraft left Joint base Charleston Tuesday to transport 30.6 tons of relief supplies to Alexandria, Louisiana and support personnel in the region, according to according to Staff Sgt. William A. O’Brien with Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs.
O’Brien says members from the 14th, 15th and 16th Airlift Squadrons are among the deployed crews. One crew member is a Texas native and was excited to help out his home state, according to O'Brien.
"Being from Texas, I jumped at the opportunity to do this. I'm not able to be home to help my family and friends, but being able to do this humanitarian aid for the hurricane allows me to extend some help to anyone in need right now and that is rewarding all in its own," says Senior Airman Justin Hampton, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster.
Preparations Joint Base Charleston relief efforts began Friday when four aircrews were placed into alert status, according to O’Brien. As crews leave, additional crews are placed into alert status, ready to launch in order to continue relief operations.
“The members of the 437th Operations Group have done an amazing job identifying and preparing crews, launching crews off of alert, and immediately reconstituting those crews as soon as they launch,” said Meinders. “It's amazing to see how hard the crews and squadron support personnel work. It's even more humbling to see how they've surged to help out their fellow Americans. They're excited to bring hope and relief to folks that have been impacted by the storm ... and we're very proud of them.”
"Natural disasters are an unfortunate reality and our thoughts are with everybody who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey," says said Col. Jimmy Canlas, 437th AW commander. "This is what we are trained to do ... no matter the mission, we are ready to get any cargo to any place in the world in a moment's notice."