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    Pa. Guard returns home from Florence relief mission

    Pa. Guard departs S.C.

    Photo By Capt. Travis Mueller | U.S. Army Sgt. Brian Duran, crew chief with the Pennsylvania National Guard, looks out...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Travis Mueller 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard returned home from their Hurricane Florence relief mission, Sept. 28, 2018.

    Pennsylvania National Guard helicopter crews, and their partners in the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, departed Myrtle Beach International Airport in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the morning and arrived at Muir Army Airfield here and John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the afternoon.

    They spent over two weeks in South Carolina assisting the South Carolina National Guard and local emergency responders with relief efforts after Hurricane Florence.

    The crews flew two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters around the region completing missions as assigned by local authorities. Those missions included search and rescue, damage assessment, evacuation and transportation.

    The CH-47 Chinook helicopter crews flew nine missions, totaling more than 20 hours. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crews flew 13 missions, totaling more than 50 hours.

    Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard task force flew to McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina on Sept. 13. In the days following, portions of the task force were staged at Joint Base Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina to assist with relief missions after Hurricane Florence passed that area.

    When the hurricane passed, Pennsylvania National Guard and PA-HART members consolidated at McEntire JNGB and began search and rescue missions. On Sept. 18, a portion of the task force repositioned at Myrtle Beach International Airport. The Pennsylvania National Guard task force conducted missions from both McEntire JNGB and Myrtle Beach International Airport over the next week. On Sept. 24, the Pennsylvania National Guard task force in South Carolina consolidated at Myrtle Beach.

    Flooding ravaged towns along the South Carolina coast for more than a week after Hurricane Florence had passed.

    During that time, the Pennsylvania National Guard crews identified damaged infrastructure, ensured flooded roadways were barricaded, determined areas prone to future flooding and flew equipment and supplies to various locations in South Carolina.

    On Sept. 20, one Black Hawk crew rescued and evacuated two flood survivors in Mullins, South Carolina who needed immediate medical attention. The crew flew the two to Florence Regional Airport and transferred them to civilian paramedics.

    “I am proud of my crew’s professionalism during the rescue,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Keith Hogan, pilot-in-command of that crew. “We go through extensive training with our partners in PA-HART and the training resulted in a successful evacuation of those two flood survivors.”

    National Guard members from Alaska, Tennessee, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, Arkansas, Virginia, Georgia and Mississippi also supported relief efforts in South Carolina. The Pennsylvania National Guard maintains a trained and ready force to assist with future relief missions.

    “The Pennsylvania National Guard is always ready to respond to relief missions like this one,” said Maj. Trevor Patrick, officer-in-charge of the Pennsylvania National Guard task force in South Carolina. "This task force worked very well with the other National Guard members here, as well as civilian agencies. Our thoughts remain with the people of South Carolina as they rebuild and we hope our actions helped them in that effort.”



    Date Taken: 09.28.2018
    Date Posted: 09.28.2018 14:21
    Story ID: 294859

    Web Views: 255
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    Pa. Guard returns home from Florence relief mission