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Florida Reserve wing relocates aircraft; stands ready to rescue in response to Irma

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE --

After returning Sunday from flying week-long relief efforts in Texas due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, 920th Rescue Wing reservists have turned around and relocated its helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft September 7, in response to Hurricane Irma’s projected path, and are pre-positioned for rescue efforts after the storm hits if they are needed.

 

The Air Force Reserve Command wing also cancelled its September 9-10 drill training weekend here due to the storm.

 

Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, strongly urged all rescue warriors to get prepared. “Now is the time to secure your home and ensure you have emergency supplies and an evacuation plan,” he said.

 

Matthews said his biggest priority is to protect “Airmen and assets”.  He urged wing members to follow base social media; listen to the news and local authorities; and to follow proper protocols to keep yourself and your family safe.

 

The 920th RQW relocated its HH-60G “Jolly” Pave Hawk helicopters to Orlando; and its HC-130P/N “King” fixed-wing aerial refueling aircraft to Georgia; and its pararescue teams are configured as rescue assets in case they are called into action due to the aftermath of the storm.

 

Wing personnel should take action to prepare for the possible arrival of hurricane-force winds. These actions include the potential for evacuation of the base and all barrier islands.

 

Wing leadership is coordinating preparation and response operations with the 45th Space Wing, Brevard County and NASA emergency management operations centers.

 

Starting Sept 7, members can also contact the Patrick AFB/Cape Hotline at 1-800-470-7232 for Hurricane Irma information.

 

For more information about the 920th RQW, log on to the wing’s Web site: www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil or follow the wing on Facebook or Twitter.