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AFNORTH mobility planners surpass 1,500 flights supporting FEMA’s hurricane relief efforts

AFNORTH mobility planners in the 601st Air Operations Center stay busy coordinating airlift to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in support of FEMA's hurricane relief efforts.

Air Forces Northern mobility planners in the 601st Air Operations Center stay busy coordinating airlift to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency's hurricane relief efforts. Along with the Director of Mobility Forces team, mobility planners have surpassed 1,500 relief flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mary McHale)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- -- “Our priority is ensuring we coordinate the strategic airlift to meet FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) requirements for relief personnel, equipment and other commodities needed to bring some comfort to the people impacted by the storms,” said Brig. Gen. T.J. Kennett, ANFORTH’s director of mobility forces.

A team of about 50 air mobility planners assigned to the 601st Air Operations Center’s Air Mobility Division have been working around the clock since Hurricane Harvey first approached the coast of Texas in late August to coordinate and synchronize Air Force and commercial strategic airlift to support FEMA’s disaster relief efforts.

“We’ve been very busy supporting FEMA and the Air National Guard since Hurricane Harvey Impacted Texas in August, and we’ve maintained that pace ensuring the Air Force is able to deliver personnel, equipment and relief supplies where they are needed most,” said Kennett.

tTen flights to St. Croix and 22 flights to San Juan carried water, meals-ready-to-eat, disaster relief supplies and support personnel on Sept 30. As of Oct. 1, the team has coordinated more than 1,600 missions. Of the 1,509 air mobility flights conducted as of the end of Saturday’s Septemberairlift, 893 were tallied in support of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Thus far, in support of FEMA’s Hurricane Maria relief efforts for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AFNORTH has coordinated 722 flights.

Kennett said, “We are all motivated knowing that lives can be saveds by our ability to get needed relief supplies to the region,” Kennett said. “So we’ll keep working around the clock until we’re told mission is complete."

Air Forces Northern air mobility planners surpassed 1,500 flights Sept. 30, 2017, when 32 relief flights were completed to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.