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    Steele, Gandy provide logistical support for Hawaii Wildfires USACE emergency responders

    Steele, Gandy provide logistical support for Lahaina emergency responders

    Photo By Makenzie Leonard | Karlton Gandy [also known as G], USACE Little Rock District, and Cliff Steele, USACE...... read more read more



    Story by Shannon Bauer 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District

    All U.S. Army Corps of Engineers disaster recovery missions need logistical support to succeed, and the Maui wildfires recovery response effort is no exception.
    This is the second time Cliff Steele, Savannah District, and Karlton Gandy [also known as G], Little Rock District, are on Maui for two-month deployments, taking care of lodging, transportation, supplies and property accountability for around 115 USACE responders and managing the facilities of both a Recovery Field Office in Kihei, Hawaii, and an Emergency Field Office in Lahaina, Hawaii.
    “Having worked many missions, whether it be for hurricanes or wild fires, the two PAX [person] log group of Cliff Steele and Karlton Gandy stand out,” said Adam Tarplee, debris mission specialist. “These two gentlemen are extremely responsive, professional and keep the moral high.”
    Steele, who is a material expediter at his home district, has 40 years federal service, 22 years of those (off and on) with USACE. He is a team leader on four USACE Logistics Activity emergency response teams to include the Logistics Planning and Response Team, the Logistics Support Team, the Logistics Power Support Team and the Deployable Tactical Operation System, or DTOS, team. This is his 40th response mission, with Hurricane Hugo in 1989 being his first.
    Steele said everything he does here on Maui is about safety, accountability and mission execution. “You have to work long hours to execute,” he said, “because failing to execute is not an option.”
    What makes this mission different from all his previous missions, he said, is the availability of resources. “Since we are on an island, a lot of stuff just isn’t here, and there’s a long lag between orders,” he said. “The U.S. Post Office, UPS and Fed Ex don’t work here on weekends.”
    Steele is also a blueberry farmer, the grandfather of seven and great grandfather of three. Herschel Deaton, RFO chief of staff, called him “the most energetic person I have ever been on a mission with and especially this mission in Maui. He starts the day off [by leading the mission staff in a chant of] ‘All gas, no brakes,’ and he gets the team pumped up. I love his enthusiasm.”
    Steele said he and Gandy met while deployed to Maui for the first time last fall and that since they had made such a good team, they wanted to deploy again at the same time. “If you’re only going to send two people out on a mission, this is the team you want,” he said.
    Gandy is a facilities manager back home and a father of four. He’s been with USACE since January 2021, and this is his fourth disaster response mission. He said he first volunteered to deploy because assisting others is fulfilling for him.
    “Karlton Gandy is the man behind the scenes. He’s very solid, an organizer, and a doer,” said Herschel. “He is always one step ahead of us all. If he hears you talking about anything logistics or procurement, he starts working on it immediately and has it done before close of business. He’s a great asset to have on the ground in the RFO.
    When not working long hours at the RFO, the two have been known to cook for the rest of the responders. “We’ve got to keep morale high,” said Steele. “The best thing to do for people in this type of deployed environment, when everyone is working hard, is to contain them with food and conversation will emerge. It will build camaraderie.”


    Date Taken: 05.11.2024
    Date Posted: 05.11.2024 20:27
    Story ID: 471070
    Location: KIHEI, HAWAII, US

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