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    Montana Air National Guard Builds Tent Cities in Puerto Rico

    Montana Air National Guard Builds Tent Cities in Puerto Rico

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Daniel Heaton | Airmen from the 219th Red Horse Squadron construct a "tent city" at Muniz Air National...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Heaton 

    156th Wing

    A Montana Air National Guard unit is ensuring that hundreds of National Guard Soldiers and Airmen working in Puerto Rico have a place to get a good night’s sleep.

    The 219th Red Horse Squadron constructed three tent cities at various locations in Puerto Rico, each of which can house a total of 150 troops. The tent cities come complete with laundry, shower and restroom facilities to accommodate the troops.

    “We rolled in and got to work,” said Master Sgt. Coltin Sweeney. “It was a long trip here, but our guys were eager to pitch in and get to work.”

    The Red Horse is the Air Force’s Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineer. Once the tent cities are complete, the 26-person team from Montana will be assigned to various other construction related assignments.

    The creation of the tent cities allows Army and Air National Guard units from multiple states to continue to send personnel to work with the Puerto Rico National Guard on an ongoing basis. The 219th was the first unit to move in to the tent city it constructed at a municipal baseball field in Caguas.

    The tent city at Muniz Air National Guard Base, is the first time such a facility has ever been created at the base, said Lt. Col. Humberto Pabon, vice commander of the 156th Airlift Wing at the base.

    The tents at Muniz will house Air National Guard personnel who are being assigned to the base to support the 24-hour-a-day airlift operations that are taking place. The airlift brings personnel and supplies to Puerto Rico from the U.S. mainland to support the ongoing relief efforts from Hurricanes Maria and Irma, both of which hit Puerto Rico and the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands in September.

    Master Sgt. David Ledger, a member of the Red Horse Squadron in Montana for 18 years, said once the unit arrived, it was able to make short order of the tent city assignment.

    “It is supposed to take an hour and a half per tent,” he said. “We’ve been getting it done a little faster than that. It’s all in the logistics. Once you have the materials you need, you can really get in and get it done.”

    For the Montana Citizen-Airmen, the trip to Puerto Rico prompted a bit of a wardrobe change.

    “We all had coats on when we left back home,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Hagler. “Here, it’s hot and humid, but in the Air Force, you learn to just roll with whatever the situation is and get the mission done.”



    Date Taken: 10.19.2017
    Date Posted: 10.20.2017 09:44
    Story ID: 252375
    Location: PR

    Web Views: 968
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