HomeNewsArticle Display

Kentucky Guardsmen deploy to Caribbean for Hurricane Irma response

Kentucky National Guard deploys for Hurricane Irma relief

Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade are loaded into an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2017, to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The two Army aircraft are equipped with medical evacuation equipment necessary to accomplish search and rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Kentucky National Guard deploys for Hurricane Irma relief

Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade are loaded into an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2017, to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The two Army aircraft are equipped with medical evacuation equipment necessary to accomplish search and rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AFNS) -- Soldiers from the Kentucky Army National Guard's 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade departed from the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Sept. 7, 2017, for the Caribbean to assist with rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Approximately 20 Soldiers from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation, deployed to the Virgin Islands with two UH-60 Blackhawks equipped for medical evacuations. Six Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Special Tactics Squadron also deployed as part of Kentucky's response to provide search and rescue.

"Our main job is to focus on humanitarian efforts and provide medical evacuation and triage, as well as patient transfer from hurricane-affected areas in the Caribbean, especially the Virgin Islands," said 1st Lt. John Kerr, a Blackhawk pilot with the 2/238th. "The mission will be to go where others cannot to rescue and aid any civilian personnel we can."

The Blackhawks were loaded into a C-17 Globemaster III from the Hawaii ANG's 204th Airlift Squadron and are expected to begin rescue operations immediately.

All the Soldiers are trained in rescue hoist operations and swift-water rescue, and can provide expedient critical care en route from hospital to hospital in the area.

With Hurricane Harvey barely in the rearview mirror, and the potential for more hurricanes to follow Irma, the operations tempo of Soldiers in units like these has been at peak levels.

"It's always somewhat hectic at times like these but our leadership is very good at planning and keeping us involved," added Kerr. “Morale is very high, and everyone is excited to be a part of the mission."

It is of the upmost importance for the Soldiers to have perfect communication.

"The hardest part of the mission will be to make sure everyone is on the same sheet of music and communicating effectively," Kerr said.

The unit is heading to the Caribbean without any real timeframe for mission completion.

"We are planning to provide support for a couple of weeks,” said veteran Blackhawk pilot Chief Warrant Officer Steve Knight. “From there we'll re-evaluate and see if we need to swap people out, pull back or whatever the case may be.”

Knight brings more than 38 years of experience to the mission and also has his son as one of the crew members.

Col. Dwayne Lewis, 63rd TAB's brigade commander, was on hand for the departure and was extremely confident in their capabilities.

"Kentucky's aviators and crew members are highly trained in their craft and fully prepared to provide support to our neighbor states," Lewis said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they work to assist residents who have been affected by Hurricane Irma and the potential historic devastation in the Caribbean and Southern Atlantic states."

Engage

Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Twitter
“With accelerating disruptive technologies...rewriting Air Power for all nations, not just the U.S., continuing our… https://t.co/WDD6LsQGkr
Twitter
#Resilience: The story of the Peck family’s and their battle with breast cancer. #TotalForce @ScottAFB https://t.co/PYGgSOQwcu
Twitter
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Maintaining resiliency in paradise - https://t.co/IXktGzGgWc (Story by the @624RSG) #ReserveResilient https://t.co/ta8mMTP…
Twitter
RT @hack_a_sat: Tune in at 11 AM PDT to watch the LIVE closing ceremony with Dr. Will Roper and @bjgol. 🚀It's all happening at https://t.c…
Twitter
Difficult, but not impossible. @GenCQBrownJr addresses the challenges the Air Force faces going forward. https://t.co/kF4FdxN5S6
Twitter
“I want to show people the power of having faith & sticking to what you say you’re going to do.” - Staff Sgt. Gerem… https://t.co/524l6BUsyI
Twitter
What operates 24/7 ensuring the safety of aircraft & aircrews, AND provides prompt service to whoever is flying?… https://t.co/JMaYsTV5XH
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr explains what the Air Force can expect from his leadership: https://t.co/bxeqgZ1NSi
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Your daily @usairforce news! ✅ @Team_Tinker Airmen are using 3D printing to manufacture metal components successfully…
Twitter
5-year-old Wilder Umbarger, who suffers from X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, wished he could see a real plane and me… https://t.co/nUtEk9e0u4
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr assumed his new role as Air Force Chief of Staff Aug. 6. https://t.co/kk8y15fOYe
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,265,261
Follow Us