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OKANG wing sends aid to neighbor state for Hurricane Harvey

August 30, 2017 (by SSgt. Kasey Phipps) - About 40 Airmen from the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 137th Special Operations Wing departed Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, August 29, 2017, to support the Texas Military Department and Texas Emergency Management in relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

An airfield manager from the 137th SOW, Will Rogers ANGB in Oklahoma City, marshals a C-130 Hercules from the 136th AW, NAS Fort Worth JRB at Carswell Field, Texas, as it takes off on August 28, 2017. The 137th Special Operations Wing deployed about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. [ANG photo by SSgt. Kasey Phipps]

Deploying in two waves, the Airmen and their equipment were picked up by a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing out of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Carswell Field, Texas, and deployed to the same location to wait for further instruction.

"What we're doing today is responding to an assistance agreement that we have with our brothers and sisters in Texas to bring aide to those in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana in response to Hurricane Harvey," said Col. Devin R. Wooden, 137 SOW commander. "We will be there as long as they need us."

The first unit, composed of 11 Airmen from the 137th Special Operations Medical Group, will offer their expertise and portable medical equipment to help evacuate patients from affected medical care facilities.

"The Medical Group has been requested by Texas Emergency Management to assist with hospital and nursing home patient evacuation from the Houston area," said Col. Keith Reed, 137 SOMDG commander. "Our En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) includes equipment and medical personnel specially trained to stage and prepare patients for military air transport to facilities outside the affected area. We will partner with Texas Air National Guard medical personnel and work until this particular need is met."

Courtesy of 137th Special Operations Wing

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