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 McChord Reservists fly trucks, power crews to East Coast
 Seattle City Light responds to elecrical needs in Long Island
 446th AW relief mission is part of the Power Restoration Task Force
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Reservists bring power to the people of the East Coast
Loadmasters from McChord Field's 446th Airlift Wing unload trucks from Seattle City Light and Bonneville Power Authority at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, N.Y., Nov. 4. The relief efforts were part of the Power Restoration Task Force to bring electricity to residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Rachael Garneau)
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McChord C-17 delivers power equipment to New York

Posted 11/5/2012   Updated 11/6/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Rachael Garneau
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

11/5/2012 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- An Air Force Reserve crew flew a McChord C-17 Globemaster III loaded with two trucks and nine power workers from Seattle City Light and Bonneville Power Administration to the East Coast Nov. 3.

The C-17 landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, N.Y., just after midnight on Nov. 4 and crews immediately began unloading 55,000 pounds of cargo on the chilly airport tarmac.

The crew from Seattle City Light was scheduled to begin work on Long Island, N.Y., once they arrived to the East Coast. Nov. 4, Long Island Power Authority announced that 370,000 of its 1.1 million customers were still without power.

Earlier in the week, the Power Restoration Task Force was formed involving a number of government agencies with the goal of restoring electricity to millions of people affected by Hurricane Sandy.

"The power equipment and personnel were requested by Long Island Power Authority directly to Seattle City Light," said Army Col. Michael McCormick, the Defense Coordinating Officer for the Pacific Northwest for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "It's called a bi-lateral agreement, so when one place has a disaster, the other location is allowed to back them up."

"When you see the images on television or in the newspapers, you want help," said Peter Clark from Seattle City Light. "These guys are actually going to get that opportunity."

In addition to McChord's C-17, aircraft from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., are flying cargo in support of the relief efforts.

Nov. 1, U.S. Air Forces- Northern, the service component at U.S. Northern Command, requested Team McChord put additional crews on "24-hour prepare-to-deploy status" to meet any task force requests to respond to the storm relief efforts.

"As soon as we get the call, our crews are ready to go," said Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Boyd, a 728th Airlift Squadron pilot flying the mission to New York. "It's an incredible feeling to be able to help out at a time like this."

"Our 446th Airlift Wing Reservists serve their fellow Americans by providing our country with the capability of reaching out anywhere in the world in a matter of hours," said Air Force Col. James Dignan, the 446th Operations Group commander. "This is why our aircraft are often the first signs of hope for victims of natural disasters. For Hurricane Sandy, the impact has been truly devastating to our nation, as well as to some members of the Air Force Reserve family."

In addition to the aircraft, supplies, power crews and trucks, Air Force Reserve Command has sent emergency preparedness liaison officers to assist local rescue efforts in the devastated areas.

"As always, the 446th Airlift Wing is ready to meet the demand," said Dignan. "We are part of the total team effort needed to help the area begin to get on its way to recovery in the aftermath of this heartbreaking and horrific disaster."

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