HomeNewsArticle Display

Aeromedical team at Scott AFB joins response to Hurricane Harvey

A loadmaster with the 6th Airlift Squadron directs 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron personnel toward a C-17 Globemaster III, which will transport cargo and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron personnel to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. to provide medical relief after Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic floods in the states of Texas and Louisiana, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 30, 2017.  The 375th LRS loaded 6.5 tons of medical supplies onto a C-17 Globemaster III for the nine-person medical team. The 375th AES crew, prepared to provide relief for 30 days, will be staged at Little Rock Air Force Base, where they will pick up high-priority patients from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and transport them to one of seven hospital locations across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

A loadmaster with the 6th Airlift Squadron directs 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron personnel toward a C-17 Globemaster III, which will transport cargo and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron personnel to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. to provide medical relief after Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic floods in the states of Texas and Louisiana, Scott AFB, Ill., Aug. 30, 2017. The 375th LRS loaded 6.5 tons of medical supplies onto a C-17 for the nine-person medical team. The 375th AES crew, prepared to provide relief for 30 days, will be staged at Little Rock AFB, where they will pick up high-priority patients from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and transport them to one of seven hospital locations across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

Members of the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron come together before the team mobilizes in support Hurricane Harvey relief and response efforts, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 30, 2017.  The 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron loaded 6.5 tons of medical supplies onto a C-17 Globemaster III for the nine-person medical team. The 375th AES crew, prepared to provide relief for 30 days, will be staged at Little Rock Air Force Base, where they will pick up high-priority patients from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and transport them to one of seven hospital locations across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

Members of the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron come together before the team mobilizes in support Hurricane Harvey relief and response efforts, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Aug. 30, 2017. The 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron loaded 6.5 tons of medical supplies onto a C-17 Globemaster III for the nine-person medical team. The 375th AES crew, prepared to provide relief for 30 days, will be staged at Little Rock AFB, Ark., where they will pick up high-priority patients from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and transport them to one of seven hospital locations across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Scott Air Force Base joined humanitarian relief efforts by mobilizing the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Aug. 30, 2017, in the wake of catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, which has caused historical and life-threatening flooding in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

375th AES personnel will be staged at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, where eight aeromedical evacuation teams and eight Critical Care Air Transport Teams will respond to high-priority patients at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, which is currently acting as a Disaster Aeromedical Staging Facility. From the airport, medical teams will deliver hurricane victims to one of seven Federal Coordination Center Locations across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

As the aeromedical evacuation team prepared to leave, Lt. Col. Catherine Bonhoff, the 375th AES director of operations, showed images of families’ homes under water and overcrowded stadiums with dwindling supplies.

“These are the people you’re helping,” said Bonhoff. “There are thousands of people who are still stranded. The Texas (Air) National Guard has mobilized 783 personnel, and they are prepared to mobilize 3,000 more. It’s all hands on deck.”

Col. John Howard, the 375th Air Mobility Wing and installation commander, visited the aeromedical evacuation crew before their departure from the passenger terminal. News footage of stranded Americans and recovery efforts flashed on the television screen beside him while he reminded them of their impact.

“The fact is you guys are going out there and making the mission happen,” said Howard. “The thing I noticed – and it’s probably no big deal to you – is how quickly you were ready to go.”

The team was notified Monday to be prepared for up to a month-long response. As they loaded a C-17 Globemaster III, they joined 6.5 tons of medical and emergency supplies loaded by the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“We found out Tuesday afternoon, which, in turn, led to an immediate response,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Lathwood, the 375th LRS small terminal operations section chief. “Any opportunity to see my job or the work we do effect this nation is an exciting feeling. (It) makes us feel like a team, family, and most of all – Airmen.”

375th LRS, having just over 24 hours to coordinate and respond, became another vital link to the disaster response.

“It took a total (Scott AFB) effort to deploy these tough and talented Airmen,” said Bonhoff. “With every sortie, we are mindful of the coordination and behind-the-scenes work performed by our mission partners.”

A second aeromedical evacuation team left Scott AFB, Aug. 31, 2017, to join the medical teams in Arkansas, and an additional team is on standby to respond, but they are just one part of Scott AFB’s response to the devastating disaster.

Air Mobility Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and 618th Air Operations continue to plan and coordinate disaster response. The 375th Communication Group, in coordination with the 24th Air Force, established a network connectivity supporting seven liaison representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veteran Affairs.

Staff Sgt. April Cooper, a 375th AES technician, said these combined efforts defines us as a nation, and she’s ready to do her part.

“I’m just waiting to see the relief on their faces when they are saved,” said Cooper. “It hits home when it happens in your back door. That feeling of, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get in there and get it done’ - nothing says America like that.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue
RT @VP: Happy 72nd birthday to the @usairforce! On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to the amazing men and women of the Air Force for…
#ASC19: There's a challenge to maintain warfighting capabilities until new bombers and missiles arrive. Hear more f… https://t.co/SWB3VjNod8
#ASC19: Want to know which three acquisition trends #AirForce acquisition experts believe should "go viral?" Click… https://t.co/hsiH3oQXOX
RT @NSAGov: Happy Birthday to the @usairforce! For 72 years you've taught us to aim high. We look forward to continuing to fly, fight, and…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The Air Force is celebrating 72 years of service, so here is 72 seconds of Global Strike Command! #USAFBday #ThisIs72 h…
Moments like this one between @GenDaveGoldfein and retired Col. Charles McGee remind us of where we've been as we f… https://t.co/LlhJhfdHQb
ICYMI: @ActingSecAF Matthew Donovan announced Sept. 16 at #ASC19 that the B-21 Raider is being produced in Northrop… https://t.co/XTsOnLwrTw
ICYMI: @ActingSecAF Matthew P. Donovan announced on Sept. 16 at #ASC19 that the Air Force’s all-new advanced traine… https://t.co/9MULuV7vFN
RT @USNavy: To be young again... #HappyBirthday, @usairforce! Congrats on 72 years playing a key role in the National Defense Strategy. He…
RT @USArmy: Join us in wishing the @usairforce a #happybirthday! They may have separated from the Army in 1947, but they have been trail br…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks @EsperDoD for speaking at @AirForceAssoc #ASC19 & chatting with our exceptional #Airmen who are dedicated to sharpe…