Airmen from the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., responded to recovery operations for Hurricane Harvey, arriving in Easterwood Airfield, College Station, Texas, with approximately 20 members, Aug. 29, 2017.
The mission is to provide boat-based rescue support in addition to current efforts in southeast Texas.
“Our four, three-man boat teams, are currently in Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas, to provide their special skills of swiftwater and technical rescue,” said Maj. Scott Diehl, 48th Rescue Squadron director of operations. “When we forward deployed this morning we were some of the first rescue forces to arrive to what is currently ground zero for Hurricane Harvey flooding and rain.”
The Airmen are grid searching areas with swift water and providing confined space, extrication, and collapsed structure rescues.
“In the first few hours our forces have been employing they have already been executing rescues,” Diehl said.
In addition to combat rescue officers and pararescuemen, the 48th RQS also supplied a survival, evasion, resistance, and escape specialist, an aircrew flight equipment specialist, an intelligence analyst, a squadron aviation resource manager, an independent duty medical technician and a communication airman.
“Our Guardian Angel and support personnel were eager and happy to support,” Diehl said. “The coordinated rescue effort from what I understand has been massive and hugely successful.”