Air Force leaders thank Florida Reserve Airmen for hurricane relief efforts
By 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 27, 2017
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Force leadership visited the Airmen of the 920th Rescue Wing here Sept. 20, to thank them for their Herculean efforts over the past few weeks providing hurricane relief.
The Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, under secretary of the Air Force and General Stephen W. Wilson, Air Force vice chief of staff, addressed several hundred rescue wing Airmen in an aircraft hangar thanking them for their relief efforts after back-to-back major hurricanes battered Texas then Florida.
“They (920th Airmen) immediately get redeployed to support Harvey and rescued 235 in the course of a couple days and then they come back home and they get put on stand by and were ready to go to take care of any problems with Hurricane Irma, and they are all doing with a smile on their face,” said Secretary Donovan.
A contingent of 95 wing Airmen and 5 rescue aircraft set up a rescue operation at Eastern Airport, College Station, Texas August 27. With little time to spare, they begin responding to Texans in need within 45 minutes of their arrival. A week later they were getting ready to do the same thing at home in response to Hurricane Irma, according to Lt. Col. Mike LoForti, 920th Operations Group commander
“We just came here to tell them thanks. Tell their families thanks. What they do everyday to make us all so proud and how important they are to our nation,” said Wilson.
After just returning home from Afghanistan and Africa deployments, Airmen got called into action to go rescue those affected by Harvey and Irma without missing a beat, according to wing leaders.
“We got to meet them and hear their stories. It makes us incredibly proud,” said Wilson. “What you see here is fantastic leadership, a terrific mission, empowered Airmen, and they know how they connect to the mission and the difference they are making, not only to the base and community, but to the international effort.”