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Georgia Air National Guard to provide route clearance in wake of Hurricane Michael

116th Air Control Wing to provide route clearance in wake of Hurricane Michael

Georgia Air National Guard Airmen with the 116th Air Control Wing depart from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., in support of Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, October 11, 2018. The 116th ACW is providing 23 Airmen and two route clearing packages to assist local authorities in South Georgia by clearing roadways and removing debris caused by the storm. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt Dustin Cole)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) -- Airmen from the Georgia Air National Guard, 116th Air Control Wing, departed today to provide support to local authorities in Seminole County, Georgia after Hurricane Michael roared through the panhandle of Florida and Georgia.

The convoy of two route clearance packages and 23 Airmen pulled out of Robins Air Force Base carrying specialized equipment on a mission to clear debris from blocked roadways in southern Georgia. The clearing of roadways allows access for first responders and utility companies to begin caring for victims effected by the storm.

“We are sending out our route clearance package, or RCP,” said Master Sgt. Joel Furlough, 116th Civil Engineering Squadron flight superintendent. “The RCP is a domestic operations kit consisting of tools, chainsaws and two Kubota skid-steer tractors with attachments designed for removing debris.”

The 116th ACW is highly trained and experienced in accomplishing these types of missions. In October 2016, the wing provided route clearing after Hurricane Matthew and again in September 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

“Our Airmen train consistently for these types of situations. This is part of what we do and what the Georgia Air National Guard is all about, to help the citizens of Georgia when something like this occurs,” said Col. Jonathan Cox, 116th Mission Support Group commander. “Citizens in our state are in need and we have the capabilities to help relieve some of that distress.”

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