Commentary

November 9, 2012

Candid Comments | November 9, 2012

What part did you play in the Hurricane Sandy relief effort?


Chief Master Sgt. Robert Ehlers

Job: Air transportation manager
Unit: 56th Aerial Port Squadron
Hometown: Anaheim, Calif.
Hobbies: Jogging, softball and golf

As soon as we got the call that March Field would spin-up airlift operations, in support of restoration efforts for those devastated by super-storm Sandy, I immediately began to rally our traditional reservists and civilians. As the Cargo Deployment Function representative, I had to ensure the equipment, personnel and supplies were properly manifested and on its way, in less than 36 hours. When the last jet departed and our mission complete, a sense of satisfaction came out of everyone in our crew, despite the hurry-up operations and strained work conditions. It is a great feeling when you can assist people in their time of need.

Master Sgt. Christopher Alcala

Job: C-17 Loadmaster/Affiliation Manger
Unit: 452nd Airlift Control Flight
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.

I received the initial call from Southern California Edison around 7 a.m. with their list of vehicles and support equipment that would be allocated for the relief effort. At noon, a crew of loadmasters conducted a survey of SCE vehicles at the Menifee truck yard, to get an idea of size and weight in order to draft up load plans. This was our opportunity to show the rest of the world what we here at March are capable of doing. Tremendous efforts were displayed by Senior Master Sgts. Gary Cole and Jeff Wooten, Master Sgts. Chris Schuldes and Brian Sinclair, Staff Sgt. Gary Mathieson, and Senior Airmans Patrick Bradley and Frankarl Culotta.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Terreault

Job: Air transportation
Unit: 452nd Aerial Port Squadron
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Hobbies: Flying and music

When the call came to support the relief effort, we immediately went to 12-hour shifts—at height of operations, we were averaging 16-hours days. I was responsible for generating the load plans for flights departing March Field. When the last aircraft departed, I felt great pride in what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We hope that our efforts and support will help the people affected by the hurricane regain power and have their lives return to normalcy. My shop and I stand ready to help our fellow Americans when called.




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