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News > Mobility Airmen blanket East Coast for Hurricane Sandy relief
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 More than ten Airmen from the 305th Air Mobility Wing here and the 445th Air Wing from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, worked to unload the C-17 that arrived at 2:22 a.m. at JB MDL.
 Taliaferro said he's working a lot of extra hours to assist with the hurricane efforts, but was quick to point out that the extra hours he is putting in are making a difference.
 
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Mobility Airmen blanket East Coast for Hurricane Sandy relief
Tech. Sgt. Terry Johnson, 305th Aerial Port Squadron traffic management craftsman uses a forklift to position boxes of blankets Nov. 6, 2012. Airmen and civilians with the 305th APS served as a critical link in a mass blanket delivery movement that began at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. Johnson calls Gansvord, N.Y., home. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Alexis McGee)
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Mobility Airmen blanket East Coast for Hurricane Sandy relief

Posted 11/8/2012   Updated 11/13/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Alexis McGee
JB MDL Public Affairs


11/8/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Air Mobility Command Airmen forged a bridge between the West and East Coasts during the early morning hours Nov. 5 to distribute blankets that would make their way to Hurricane Sandy victims.

The 7,800 blankets began their journey at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where they were loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III and flown to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., for the next stages of the blanket distribution.

More than ten Airmen from the 305th Air Mobility Wing here and the 445th Air Wing from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, worked to unload the C-17 that arrived at 2:22 a.m. at JB MDL.

Airmen stacked the boxes onto 12 pallets on the flightline. The blankets were staged and ready to go on the flightline inside the boxes that were bound with plastic wrap and cargo netting. There the boxes remained for the morning shift to arrive at 6 a.m. to take action and load them onto trucks heading to the Federal Emergency Management Agency team on Lakehurst here.

"It is amazing to see the number of moving pieces that go into delivering disaster relief cargo," said Maj. Edward Hogan, 305th APS commander. "From consolidating and palletizing operations to on- and offloading trucks and aircraft, a tremendous number of people come together to make cargo movement an expediently executed reality, end-to-end."

Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Chin, 305th APS traffic management craftsman, from West Haverstraw, N.Y., and Senior Airman Woodrow Taliaferro, 305th APS traffic management apprentice, were the two 305th APS Airmen assigned to load the flatbed trucks with the assigned loads. The two Airmen coordinated with the vehicle driver, Tech. Sgt. Bytron Sneed, 87th LRS vehicle operator, to coordinate the blanket loading.

"Helping the Hurricane Sandy victims is very important," said Sneed, a Dallas, Texas, native, who recently switched to the night shift to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. " I escorted the FEMA teams on base when I was working the day shift so even if I played a small role, I still feel like I helped."

Sneed said he hadn't experienced a hurricane so close to home and he sympathized with the hurricane victims.

"I can only imagine what the victims closer to the shore are going through," he added.

Sneed and his counterpart, Staff Sgt. Teddy Rivera, 87th LRS vehicle operator, drove the vehicles to the side of building 1757. Airmen with the 305th APS then transported the pallets by forklift to position them on the flatbeds for transportation.

Taliaferro assisted in loading the forklifts with pallets on the flight line. He guided the forklift driver to the pallets to ensure they were safely picked up for transportation. Taliaferro said he's working a lot of extra hours to assist with the hurricane efforts, but was quick to point out that the extra hours he is putting in are making a difference.

"The faster we get these pallets loaded, the faster we can get them out to people who need them," the Oakdale, Tenn., native said.

This was Taliaferro's first hurricane experience and even though he personally suffered little damage from the hurricane, he recognized the importance his job is making in the big-picture hurricane recovery effort.

"Even one body helps," he said. "Even if you're not doing the biggest thing, just helping out a little bit counts."

Taliaferro was not the only Airmen who recognized the impact the mobility Airmen are making on those in need.

"It is gratifying to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy because you know immediately that the supplies are going out to help people," said Senior Airman Michelle Morson, 305th APS air transportation craftsman.

Morson is a native of Hampton, Va., and was one of the APS Airmen who drove a forklift to assist in the effort.

Airmen and civilians with the 87th LRS took the reins after the trucks were loaded to set out for the next leg of the blankets' long journey. The vehicle operators transported the winter necessities nearly thirty miles to the Lakehurst side of JB MDL.

"It's good that even we, as active-duty service members, are able to help out in the recovery efforts and it's not just limited to service members in the National Guard," said Staff Sgt. Charles Ladnier, 87th LRS vehicle operator.

Ladnier is a native of Greenbelt, Md.

The trucks arrived at a truck dock and warehouse at Lakehurst where 305th APS Airmen and civilians unloaded the cargo.

Tech. Sgt. Terry Johnson, 305th APS traffic management craftsman and native of Gansvord, N.Y., worked with Master Sgt. Sam Charles, 305th APS traffic management craftsman, to move the pallets inside the warehouse, remove the cargo netting and wrap and transport the goods to the four semi-trucks that were awaiting the load.

Commercial truck drivers transferred the boxes of cargo to the FEMA staging ground to await direction on when to deliver the much-needed supplies to the final location.

In fewer than 24 hours AMC Airmen completed an entire revolution of getting critical cargo loaded, transported and offloaded on the opposite coast where it was distributed to those who have faced a tragedy. These Airmen served as an integral link for people who needed their assistance most.



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