HomeNewsArticle Display

Aircrew gets firsthand view of Florida before, after Hurricane Irma

An aircrew prepares a C-17 Globemaster III for takeoff prior to a mission to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Sept. 11, 2017. Days prior the crew flew the final mission out of MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida.

Capt. Dan Casico, 16th Airlift Squadron pilot, confirms the details of a flight to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017. The aircrew delivered a crisis response team that would reopen the airfield and return it to normal operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An aircrew prepares a C-17 Globemaster III for takeoff prior to a mission to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Sept. 11, 2017. Days prior the crew flew the final mission out of MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida.

An aircrew prepares a C-17 Globemaster III for takeoff prior to a mission to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017. Days prior the crew flew the final mission out of MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

1st Lt. Ty Wojtysiak, 16th Airlift Squadron pilot, runs through a preflight checklist prior to a mission to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Sept. 11, 2017.

First Lt. Ty Wojtysiak, 16th Airlift Squadron pilot, runs through a preflight checklist prior to a mission to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017. The aircrew delivered a crisis response team that reopened the airfield, returning it to normal operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- A C-17 Globemaster III aircrew from Joint Base Charleston flew the final mission out of MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall, Sept. 8, 2017.

The flight was performed as part of an evacuation from JB Charleston to Scott AFB, Illinois, where 11 437th Airlift Wing C-17s were temporarily based to continue operations throughout the evacuation.

“We’re operating from Scott [AFB] as a stage,” said Capt. Daniel Casico, 16th Airlift Squadron pilot and aircraft commander for the mission. “Each unit is tasked on a first in, first out basis. So as aircrews arrive, they are put into crew rest and then into alert status where they can be tasked as mission requirements arise.”

For the final mission out of MacDill AFB, the aircrew retrieved an Enroute Patient Staging System and a 15-person medical team, which was deployed back into the region following the storm, to aid victims.

The same aircrew flying the final mission was the first to land at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, after the hurricane passed. They landed Sept. 11, 2017, delivering a crisis response team to reopen the airfield and return it to normal operations.

“We brought in the contingency response team who are the first people to come into an airfield after a disaster,” said Staff Sgt. Drew Gayhart, 16th AS loadmaster. “Once they arrive, they make sure everything is ready for the mission to resume and then reestablish operations.”

The purpose of evacuating the aircraft was to prevent damage and continue to carry-on the rapid global mobility mission. Worldwide operations don’t stop for natural disasters, such as hurricanes. Operational demands increased as missions to fly relief supplies and medical teams ramped up.

“We just go into operations in new locations," said Casico. “We’re still flying worldwide missions, just out of different airports. Because of the dynamic range of tasks the aircraft and crews are capable of, and the centralized planning function we harness, it doesn’t matter where we are. We can still make use of the same assets and fly the same missions expected of us.”

At their essence, these missions were just like any others. It’s just a load for the loadmaster or a flight for the pilot, but Gayhart said being on the ground in those two very different circumstances was unforgettable.

“It’s humbling to be one of the first people back in there seeing the storm devastation,” said Gayhart. “It’s awe-inspiring to be the last people out there. Because you’re part of the team flying into the storm to get the last few people and bring them to safety. Then, only a few days later, you turn around and bring them right back in to fix the problem.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: 🎶 Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Air Force! 🎶 #Airmen from the 721 AMXS & 305 MXS restored a C-17 Globemaster III on Ramstein A…
Twitter
Simulated partner force members participate in tactical training w/@AFSpecOpsCmd during Commando Crucible at Hurlbu… https://t.co/eFXE9oslwe
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: For the first time at @LukeAFB, AMS Airmen painted a #F16 one solid medium-gray color—a simple yet critical task that will…
Twitter
“When asked whether we still require all three of these legs of the triad, I answer, ‘we do’...we must acknowledge… https://t.co/atezdKA5tT
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Battling #COVID; a cyber Airman’s story - https://t.co/HsJv6J7r2A #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient #ReadyAF https://t.co/y7…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: #ReserveCitizenAirman makes life-saving decision - https://t.co/ZPviQZRrEX (Story by the @307BombWing) #ReserveReady #Rese
Twitter
The Impact of Sharing Stories of Recovery and Resiliency Lt Col Katharine McGregor did not know much about the… https://t.co/17VibuxnTc
Twitter
Many search for years to find their true passion in life. For Staff Sgt. Camrin Northrop, a firefighter for both th… https://t.co/QcNrBXPCV0
Twitter
From their homes to yours, check out the @AirNatlGuard Band of the South! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/yb7GhZZ5A3
Twitter
Reintegration will be a deliberate & phased approach to protect Airmen & Space Professionals. Learn to maintain rea… https://t.co/egQSAV5uRB
Twitter
The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft used for i… https://t.co/livZYQyXnH
Twitter
Dr. Quinton Sasnett, a faculty member at Air University, talks about the university's civilian associates degree pr… https://t.co/0BgoCiGCUy
Twitter
Improving mental health through expressive writing. @KadenaAirBase https://t.co/zVoYTQQl5z
Twitter
Medical pros at Kadena Air Base, 3-D printed naso-pharyngeal swabs to test potential #COVID19 patients. The dental… https://t.co/h8q1HgLjRZ
Twitter
The MC-12W is a medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligen… https://t.co/st7WRJLDHB
Twitter
Know what resources, treatments & therapies are available for invisible wounds. https://t.co/H2A7fYb8s3
Twitter
“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic.”… https://t.co/7nSYEtYWHj
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
1,252,923
Follow Us