Air Force Controllers Manage Emergency Landing Sites
For residents unable or unwilling to relocate in the face of Hurricane Ike, rising water and damaged roads made leaving home after the fact nearly impossible, save for the fearless men and women working through various relief agencies, including Texas Task Force- One, Federal Emergency Management Administration, and the Department of Public Safety.
In order to help stranded residents, â€œhelispots,â€ or temporary helicopter landing zones, like school parking lots, have been set up in cities around the Gulf coast, according to Kenneth Larson, the Texas City helispot â€œon the spotâ€ manager from TXTF-1.
In Texas City, to ensure pilots and ground crews can communicate clearly, Air Force Combat Controllers from the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, from Portland, Oregon, are on the ground directing the landing aircraft.
â€œWe open up [helicopter landing zones] and run them for anybody,â€ said Technical Sgt. Guadagnuolo Stefano, with the 125th STS. â€œArmy, Navy, Coast Guard, civilian, it doesnâ€™t matter, thatâ€™s our entire job. We bring them in and get them safely out.â€
Stranded residents from up and down the coast, along with companion animals, have been brought to Texas City, to board busses en route to KellyUSA in San Antonio.
During the run-up to Hurricane Ike, Texas emergency management agencies ramped up the number of emergency responders on call in the Gulf Coast area. Up to 10 states have been brought in to coordinate with TXTF-1, and FEMA through both federal response and state-to-state requests.
Along with air crews, there are urban search and rescue teams, as well as swift water rescue crews operating with federal agencies.
â€œThis is just one of many operational pieces,â€ said Larson. â€œEveryone is working together to help out.â€
By Sgt. Jennifer D. Atkinson
100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Table of contents for Ike 2008
- High-Water Vehicles Key to Guard Response
- Coast Guard Rescue
- Facts From an Evacuee
- Air Force Controllers Manage Emergency Landing Sites
- Rescues Continue in Louisiana
- Hurricane Ike Photos
- Lion Survives Ike, 5 Humans, Too
- National Guard Helps 2,500 Ike Victims to Safety
- Ike Stats as of 9-17-2008
- Down But Never Out
- Many New Pics of Hurricane Ike
- Our Best: Sawing Wood Edition
This entry was posted on Monday, September 15th, 2008 at 10:00 am and is filed under Disasters, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.