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Servicemembers will still be hard at work this Veterans Day

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
From delivering blankets to power vehicles to fuel and water, the U.S. military has rallied to support hurricane relief efforts all along the East Coast, and as we head into Veterans Day weekend, my thoughts are focused on all the servicemembers who'll still be hard at work as the nation takes a moment to thank them Nov. 11.

In just a few of the stories from our own Air Mobility Command, we see the following:

· A C-27J Spartan aircraft crew from the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, flew power generators and other equipment to New York ...

· Airmen from the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron worked tirelessly through the night to process more than 20 vehicles and support equipment destined for the East Coast ...

· Starting in the foggy, pre-dawn hours and continuing through the evening, every 20 minutes a C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III or KC-135 Stratotanker was on final approach to March Field. Over the course of the day, more than 65 line-trucks were loaded onto aircraft headed to destinations throughout the East Coast. Along with the trucks and supplies, more than 180 linemen were flown out to help restore the electrical power ...

· Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst's firefighters supported hurricane rescue operations near Ortley Beach, N.J., as part of New Jersey Task Force One ... and these emergency responders supported local communities with swift-water and water-rescue technicians, who led in the recovery and rescue of more than 250 victims.

Scott Air Force Base is proud home to many agencies that support the coordination of this relief effort--U.S. Transportation Command and the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (TACC), to name just two, where teams work 24/7 in arranging the logistical flow of relief supplies and personnel.

The men and women at the 375th can be proud the support mission we provide every day helps to ensure their successes as well. Our C-21 and AE crews have been on alert and flown missions in support of the disaster; our Medical Group and Mission Support Group has prepared personnel and equipment to support the relief effort, and other organizations including PA have been ready to go when the call came!

Our infrastructure and communications support enable secure and solid platforms that provide leaders with the data required for quick decision making. We're all part of one big team, and everyone's personal efforts contribute to the overall success of missions--whether it's a wartime tasking or humanitarian relief effort.

It's times like this where we see everyone pitching in and volunteering to assist that reminds me of why I'm not only proud to be serving in uniform, but also to be serving this great nation of ours. I'm proud of our heritage and the diversity of people who shaped this nation and who despite our differences in opinions can set that aside to help each other in need.

The cleanup efforts after something like this can seem staggering and overwhelming, but when has that ever stopped us? Resiliency shines as people just get to work and start making a difference wherever they can. Our nation has seen its share of natural disasters and calamities, and who best to call upon to assist in organizing rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts than the very qualified and trained and skilled and caring members of the U.S. military?

I've seen our young men and women in action and know first-hand that they give their whole heart to every task put before them. So, when our nation pauses to remember and thank the veterans who are serving today, I add my thanks ... not only to those I serve alongside, but to the many veterans who have all taken their turn ... voluntarily or otherwise ... to ensure this nation is not only safe and secure from enemies foreign and domestic, but who also have answered the nation--and world's--call for help in time of need. THANK YOU!