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Homeland Security

As Sandy closes in, Mobility Airmen stand ready

10/29/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast of the United States, Air Mobility Command Airmen are prepared to support potential relief efforts.

Planners at AMC's 18th Air Force are working with agencies across the Department of Defense anticipating the call for relief that may come from civilian authorities if the storm is as bad as predicted. At the same time, AMC Airmen at bases across the United States and here at the Tanker Airlift Control Center are standing ready to plan, schedule and execute airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation operations when needed, officials said.

Hurricane Sandy is currently a Category I storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, with possible higher gusts. Officials with the National Hurricane Center have warned that the combination of high winds, storm surge, and high tide could result in flooding in coastal areas.

In response to previous Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav, AMC tasked more than 1,500 sorties to support relief efforts, and mobility Airmen moved nearly 25,000 passengers, more than 3,600 patients, and delivered nearly 6,500 short tons of supplies to and from the Gulf Coast. In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mobility Airmen moved search and rescue teams to Louisiana and stood up an operation to rapidly bring in relief supplies and rescue patients.

AMC's ability to deliver rapid global mobility enables the nation to respond quickly to disasters across the globe, and provide aid in the wake of humanitarian crises at home and overseas. "As America's Mobility Airmen we are here to answer the call when it comes, in response to natural or manmade disasters," said Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander. "Our Airmen are watching Hurricane Sandy 24 hours a day, preparing to deliver to those in need."

(Courtesy of 18th Air Force Public Affairs)

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