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Homeland Security

VR-58 Surges to Aid Hurricane Relief Efforts

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050917-05
Release Date: 9/17/2005 9:28:00 PM

By Lt. Eric Ascheman, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 58 Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The “Sunseekers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 58 rapidly mobilized in preparation for recovery operations following the impact of Hurricane Katrina Aug. 29.

The short-fused mission and precarious conditions along the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast presented a multitude of challenges for the squadron, homeported at here.

To prepare for the myriad of potential situations in devastated areas, the squadron maintenance team converted two C-40 aircraft from a combination cargo-and-passenger configuration to an all-passenger configuration.

The Sunseeker crew loaded pallets containing more than 18,000 pounds of donated bottled drinking water onto their aircraft before the first flight out of Jacksonville.

During the first seven days after the storm, the squadron crew evacuated 584 citizens to safety, transported 120 Seabees to Gulfport, Miss., to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency and flew two rescue helicopter squadrons from North Island, Calif., to Pensacola, Fla.

VR-58 Commanding Officer Cdr. Nigel MacWilkinson said, “We answered the call and provided relief when it was desperately needed. I can’t think of a better way to showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of our Sunseeker team. And we’re proud to provide any service or support we can in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.”



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