Air Force Space Command supports Katrina relief operations
An Air Force Reserve C-130 arrived late Friday night to bring an 11-member advance team to coordinate the arrival, bed-down and missions for six UH-1N "Huey" helicopters. The helicopters will begin arriving today from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Minot AFB, N.D., Malmstrom AFB, Mont., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.


By Rick Johnson, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Posted Monday, September 5, 2005

  
Air Force Space Command supports Katrina relief operations
Columbus AFB, Miss. - One of six UH-1N helicopters has arrived today from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Minot AFB, N.D., Malmstrom AFB, Mont., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.


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Columbus AFB, Miss. - An Air Force Reserve C-130 arrived late Friday night to bring an 11-member advance team to coordinate the arrival, bed-down and missions for six UH-1N "Huey" helicopters. The helicopters will begin arriving today from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., Minot AFB, N.D., Malmstrom AFB, Mont., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The helicopter missions will be assigned to U.S. Northern Command’s JTF-Katrina’s air component, 1st Air Force at Tyndall AFB, Fla., who will task the helicopter missions. The UH-1N will be able to fly a wide range of missions.

“All of the helos have forward-looking infrared RADAR; four Helos have hoist capabilities; and two can be used for search and rescue missions,” said Col. Michael Vaughn, 20th Air Force director of operations.

While at Columbus, the Helos will be flying out of the ramp here with their operations center in the old alert facility. At 1 p.m. today, the first of the six helicopters arrived at Columbus from their home station of F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.

“We received excellent support from Columbus Air Force Base when we arrived last night around midnight. The reception plan was impressive, allowing us to get settled in immediately and begin planning and coordinating missions,” said Lt. Col. Gary Bontly, Air Force Space Command mission commander. “Because of this support, we will be able to begin flying our operational missions Monday.”

The duration of the mission at Columbus is not certain. Colonel Bontly’s 11-person team will grow to a 70-person Air Expeditionary Squadron, responsible to 1st Air Force at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and expects to fly daily missions. They will fly 10-hour missions to the coast and provide search and rescue, and evacuation capabilities to the Katrina relief effort, the colonel said.


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