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Homeland Security

Moody Airmen prepare to provide Hurricane Gustav rescue support

by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres
23rd Wing Public Affairs

8/31/2008 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- During the Labor Day weekend, Airmen from the 23rd Wing have been keeping their eye on Hurricane Gustav, and an ear to the phone.

"We've been alerted by the United States Northern Command to prepare for operations as part of the national response framework for Hurricane Gustav," said Col. Kenneth E. Todorov, 23rd Wing commander. "The wing is fully energized to support and carry out any and all rescue operations. Our crews are the finest rescue crews in the world -- combat and peacetime."

All of the wing's groups, from the 23rd Medical Group to the 563rd Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., have been doing their part over the holiday weekend to ensure the wing is ready to respond to the call.

"We've been reviewing medical records to ensure tasked personnel are medically qualified to go," said Col. Loraine H. Anderson, 23rd Medical Group commander.

Hundreds of Moody Airmen could find themselves responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav within the next few days.

"Our flight crews are ready," said Col. Darryle J. Grimes, 347th Rescue Group commander, "As soon as the word comes down, we can move in to assist the Gulf Coast."

Depending on the needs of the potential rescue operations, the 23rd Maintenance Group could deploy approximately 120 maintainers from Moody AFB and Davis-Monthan AFB.

In addition to providing search and rescue capabilities along with mission support personnel, Moody could possibly house up to 300 Department of Defense personnel from surrounding bases who may be affected by the storm.

"Although we hope that in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav the Gulf Coast won't require assistance from our rescue teams, the Flying Tigers are ready to support," said Col. Todorov. "As we showed in 2005 when the wing was responsible for more than 1,700 lives saved, we are here to answer our nation's call."

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