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    107th Airmen earn NYS Military Commendation for dedication, resiliency during Christmas Storm

    107th Airmen earn NYS Military Commendation during Christmas Storm

    Photo By 1st Lt. Jason Carr | Senior Airman Colin King, 107th Attack Wing, receives the New York State Military...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Jason Carr 

    107th Attack Wing Public Affairs

    Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station- Eighteen Airmen assigned to the New York Air Guard’s 107th Attack Wing, drove into the heart of the storm that hit Buffalo, New York on Christmas Eve, 2022, to rescue stranded motorists, get patients to hospitals, and save several lives.

    The members of the 107th Attack Wing general purpose response team were recognized for their dedication and determination by the commander of the New York National Guard during a Dec. 30, ceremony at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

    Major General Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York, presented the 18 Airmen with the New York State Military Commendation Medal.

    The Airmen are credited with completing over 100 missions, playing a vital role In the New York National Guard’s response to the storm.

    By the end of the mission on Dec. 31, the New York National Guard had mobilized 849 Soldiers and Airmen and deployed 172 vehicles.

    The 107th team’s missions included transporting over 99 medical personnel to hospitals, conducting 30 welfare checks, transporting patients in dire need of care to hospitals, assisting civilians with snow removal and delivering over 3 pallets of MRE’s and water.

    "We were mostly prepared for the most part about the weather, but it definitely was an eye-opening experience, seeing people blocked in their cars, blocked in their houses, the amount of people trying to get groceries, and things like that”, said Senior Airman Reagan Kramer

    "We had one gentleman who lived with an artificial heart that was battery powered," Staff Sgt Kevin Au recounted during an interview. "He was in need of getting a recharge. He had a spare battery that was in his home address, and we were also trying to get him to a hospital so they could plug him in. As I understand it, his battery had less than a half-hour of timeline before we were able to get him someplace safe."

    When the emergency first started, personnel had to report first to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station then fight their way through the same weather already affecting the citizens of Buffalo, Shields noted in his remarks.

    That took grit and determination, Shields said.

    "Buffalo is the city of good neighbors for a reason,” said Au. “When times are tough, it doesn’t matter if you’re military or first responder, everyone pitches in as they can to help out.”

    The storm that brought the city of Buffalo to a near complete standstill, would eventually surpass the death toll of the infamous Blizzard of ’77, claiming 39 lives.

    The 107th Attack Wing also deployed members of the wings Fatality Search and Recovery Team. These are Airmen trained to recover the remains of those killed in disasters. They recovered 22 decedents during the operation and the 107th general purpose team also assisted in those missions.

    “Our members never cease to amaze me”, said 107th Command Chief Master Sgt Edward Stefik.

    “The example set by their selfless service and dedication to their fellow New Yorkers is a gold standard on how the Air National Guard can react and sustain during times of domestic crisis,” he said.

    Col Andrew Carlson, the wing commander, agreed. “The 107th did an extraordinary job,” he said.

    ”The men and women who stepped up to process our Airmen and work with the JTF-5 staff made us proud. This is what being in the National Guard is all about; we answered the call to serve our community and help our fellow neighbors in their time of need,” Carlson said.



    Date Taken: 01.05.2023
    Date Posted: 01.05.2023 15:12
    Story ID: 436314
    Location: NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US 

    Web Views: 296
    Downloads: 1