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Homeland Security

McChord Airmen fly response team to American Samoa

by Senior Airman Kirsten Wicker
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/2/2009 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- McChord Airmen deployed a U.S.-based Federal Emergency Management Agency team to American Samoa at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 aboard a C-17 Globemaster III in the wake of a 7.6 magnitude undersea earthquake that caused a devastating tsunami to strike the region Sept. 29.

Airmen transported a nine-person FEMA team and their telecommunications and logistics equipment to the region.

The FEMA personnel are part of the Seattle-based FEMA Global Emergency Response Support team.

"We could not do this without the U.S. Air Force at McChord providing the air frame to the get this emergency response equipment and team to the people in Samoa in need of aid," said Lee Champange, the Global Emergency Response Support director. "We are re-establishing communications that had been wiped out. The Air Force is transporting our computers, video equipment, telecommunications equipment and logistical equipment so we can set up to conduct a response and recover."

"Easing suffering is an extremely gratifying mission," said Col. Kevin Kilb, the 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "This is the most capable airlifter in the world for this and many other missions, and humanitarian relief is one of the most satisfying missions we fly."

Multiple McChord AFB Airmen and C-17s remain postured for additional relief taskings.

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