Local

November 9, 2012

From days to hours: March reservists respond with expeditious airlift support

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by Darnell Gardner
452 AMW public affairs
121101-F-EQ386-091
Reservists and technicians from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., answered the President's call to 'lean forward' with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts here Nov. 1, 2012, by loading Southern California Edison equipment onto a Travis Air Force Base C-5 Galaxy and a Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster III. Here an Edison truck is secured in the cargo bay of a C-5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz)

Airmen from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base, received initial notification on Oct. 31, from the Air Force Reserve Command Force Generation Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., that a Presidential- and Secretary of Defense-directed movement of 69 power/utility trucks would occur from March Field, in support of the states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

“The U.S. President and our Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator have asked that we quickly get these resources moving eastbound to help aid in the recovery effort—we will provide as much resources as the states are requesting,” stated Veronica Verde, external affairs officer, FEMA.

Citizen Airmen assigned to the aerial port operations and other support agencies, answered the call to duty within hours of the initial notification. A C-5 Galaxy from Travis Air Force Base, Calif. and a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., arrived before dawn, so March personnel could load trucks and equipment, provided by some of Southern California’s largest electrical utility companies, for the cross-country flight.

“We received the call this morning to transport response equipment for the recovery effort on the East Coast, due to super-storm Sandy,” said Lt. Col. John Jost, pilot, 729th Airlift Squadron. “Our entire crew is made up of reservists who volunteered for this mission. We are more than happy to do our part to contribute to the response efforts.”

“Right now, we (March crews) are setting up to take about 125,000 pounds of cargo out to Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., just north of New York City, where we will unload the cargo, do a quick-turn and head back to March Field tonight,” Jost said.

Raymond Hicks, local public affairs manager, Southern California Edison was on-hand during the uploading of equipment. He expressed how excited he was to see the vehicles being loaded, specifically noting the difference that it is going to make. “Our original plan was to convoy 70-80 vehicles to the disaster area, which would have taken about four days, but having the U.S. Air Force fly them there, the crews and equipment will be there in a matter of hours,” he said.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see the military and private industry work together to make a difference in the people’s lives back East, said Hicks.

During the loading of trucks onto the aircraft, Tech. Sgt. Dennis Cordova, loadmaster, 729th AS, took time to explain how every piece of cargo must be within weight and balance limits so the aircraft is able to perform at optimal levels.

Southern California Edison. spokesperson, David Song said, “We see that this is a pretty efficient process. The U.S. Air Force has everything under control and  we are very pleased that they were able to assist us with getting our equipment to where it is needed.”

The electric company will be deploying vehicles that are required to restore service in this type of situation, such as line-trucks, bucket trucks, trouble-man vehicles and accessory vehicles, he said.

“We expect to be there for about two to three weeks, but are prepared to remain there as long as Consolidated Edison deems necessary, said Song.”

Three March C-17 Globemaster IIIs and dozens of crewmembers participated around the clock in relief efforts along with C-5 Galaxy and C-17 aircraft from Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units. A total of 290 passengers and 123 trucks were transported to the disaster area.

“This operation demonstrates the strength of our air mobility system,” said Col. Samuel Mahaney, 452d AMW commander. “By leveraging our reserve component in partnership with our active duty airmen we are able to provide rapid response to national requirements.”

We are extremely proud of our aerial porters, logistics planners, aircrews and airlift controllers. Our Citizen Airmen, members of the Air Force Reserve, have responded gallantly to this national crisis and are working at the highest operations tempo to ensure the delivery of this essential equipment in the fastest possible time, he said.

Reservists and technicians from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., answered the President’s call to ‘lean forward’ with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts here Nov. 1, 2012, by loading Southern California Edison equipment onto a Travis Air Force Base C-5 Galaxy and a Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster III. Here an Edison truck is secured in the cargo bay of a C-5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz)

Reservists and technicians from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., answered the President’s call to ‘lean forward’ with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts here Nov. 1, 2012, by loading Southern California Edison equipment onto a Travis Air Force Base C-5 Galaxy and a Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster III. Here, Chief Master Sgt. Jim Wood, 56th Aerial Port Squadron and also manager, Desert Region Crane Operations for SCE, stabalizes an Edison truck prior to loading it on the C-5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz)

Reservists and technicians from March Air Reserve Base, Calif., carefully load a Southern California Edison Line truck onto a Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster III, Nov. 1, 2012. The vehicles will be used to restore power to the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darnell Gardner)

Utility vehicles from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power taxi on the flight line to prepare to load into a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Nov. 4, 2012, March Air Reserve Base, Calif. The Department of Defense continues to flow forces, capabilities, and logistical supplies to the New York/ New Jersey region in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agencies response to Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Juan Duenas/released.)

A Southern California Edison Bucket truck is cautiously marshaled by a March reservist through the dense fog that blanketed the March Field flightline during Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Nov. 1, 2012. Vehicles were loaded onto C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft, for transportation to the east coast to assist with power restoration operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darnell Gardner)




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