SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Illinois -- Air Mobility Command is prepared to support victims affected by Hurricane Michael, which hit landfall in parts of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama on Wednesday.
Gen. Maryanne Miller, AMC commander, said mobility crews and assets are postured to provide airlift, contingency response, and aeromedical evacuation during the rapid relief effort.
“Mobility professionals are highly-trained and prepared to offer support whenever and wherever required,” said Gen. Miller. “AMC’s airlift and aeromedical evacuation capabilities, and expeditionary Airmen skillsets afford the nation unique disaster relief options.”
Total Force communications personnel from U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Communications Support Element from MacDill AFB and the Florida Air National Guard’s 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron deployed to Tyndall AFB, Florida, to restore communication capabilities in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
For the aircraft being positioned to respond in relief efforts, the 618th Air Operations Center commander said the AOC has had their eyes on Michael for days, and they’ll continue planning to deliver AMC’s relief response as long as needed.
“Airmen from the 618th AOC have been hard at work since before Hurricane Michael even made landfall,” said Col. Jimmy Canlas, 618th AOC vice commander. “These men and women coordinated with Mobility Air Forces across the U.S. to ensure safe evacuation of four bases while posturing forces at five separate locations to provide support to effected areas. We are focused on helping the victims of Hurricane Michael and this extent of coordination is something we achieve every day.”
Of those requests, both Travis Air Force Base, California, and Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, have also supplied C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and crews to support contingency response and search and rescue missions.
“Travis was and continues to be ready, when called upon, to support relief operations,” said Col. Jeff Nelson, 60th Air Mobility Wing Commander. “Our C-17s and medical personnel were poised to depart within 12 hours of notification, ensuring federal agencies such as FEMA could provide a rapid response to assist those in need."
One aircraft crew from Travis AFB is scheduled to arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base today transporting a contingency response team who will conduct an airfield assessment, after the base sustained damage from the hurricane. Pending the results of the survey, the 821st Contingency Response Group is prepared to reopen the airfield within hours. The team will deliver a Humvee, Meals Ready to Eat, a forklift and aircraft ground equipment to assist in reestablishing aerial port capabilities.
At Scott Air Force Base, a C-130J Super Hercules from Dyess AFB, Texas was on standby postured to support aeromedical evacuation crews and Critical Care Air Transport Teams. If deployed, these Airmen will provide relief through the established En-Route Patient Staging System.
No matter the challenge, Miller says AMC Airmen will continue to offer support and remain prepared in various capacities.
“We recognize the world is unpredictable,” said Miller. “Mobility Airmen pride themselves on the ability to continuously respond to numerous, simultaneous high priority missions on short notice while maintaining support for global combatant commands.”