JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Airmen with the 23rd Wing of Moody Air Force Base arrived here Saturday to help those hit the hardest by Hurricane Florence.
Pararescuemen, survival specialists and boat teams, HC-130J Combat King IIs, HH-60G Pavehawks, aircrew and support personnel were on standby, according to offiicals.
The news release states that this Total Force Integration effort includes active duty and Reserve Airmen from Moody’s 23d Wing along with the 920th Rescue Wing from Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., the 51st Combat Communication Squadron of Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and the Air Force Office of Test and Evaluation of Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, Fla., who have been integrated and activated to form one expeditionary search and rescue unit, the 334th Air Expeditionary Group.
On Sunday, the 334th AEG began orientation flights for the Pavehawks, officials stated. While on the flights, the crews are on standby and ready to respond to a rescue mission should the need arise.
United States Northern Command, its component and subordinate commands, Department of Defense partners, the military services and the National Guard are actively supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, states and local partners in response to the recently-downgraded Hurricane Florence.
USNORTHCOM is positioned to provide support, as requested, via sea, air and land. It has identified a total of nine military installations as FEMA staging areas for equipment and relief supplies including: Fort AP Hill and Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Bragg and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; North Auxiliary Airfield and Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; and Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
Air Force Northern is the lead component for USNORTHCOM for search and rescue, and has postured approximately 20 helicopters and crews for this effort.