174th Attack Wing Continues Hurricane Sandy Relief

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jeffrey D. Brown
  • 174th Attack Wing/PAO
Over one hundred members of Hancock Field Air National Guard Base have volunteered to deploy to aid in the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts since being activated on October 29, 2012, with another roughly one hundred personnel coordinating efforts at home station in Syracuse. The personnel have been working in five main operating teams:

Emergency Communications Team
The first group to deploy were members of the 174th Attack Wing's Communications Flight. They departed Hancock Field on the morning of 30 October (less than 24 hours after Hurricane Sandy made landfall) and initially deployed to Farmingdale, Long Island to set up the Wing's mobile Joint Incident Site Communication Capability (JISCC) package. The JISCC package provides vital communications capabilities for first responders, including cell phone service, internet connectivity and satellite uplinks. Once regular communications were restored at Farmingdale, the JISCC team moved to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn where they provided mobile hot spots and phone access to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Staten Island Team
The bulk of the deployed 174th volunteers (approximately 80 people) are currently in Staten Island, providing fuel to the residents as well as patrolling in Humvees day and night. In addition, they are handing out food, water, and blankets as needed and helping to discourage looting and violence.

Camp Smith Team
Additional members of the 174th Attack Wing are positioned in Camp Smith in Peekskill where they have delivered water pumps to a flooded South Beach hospital, and continue to provide food and billeting services. Forklift operators at Camp Smith continue to cross load trucks to keep supplies moving.

Floyd Bennett Field Team
Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) with Hancock Field's 274th Air Support Operation Squadron were deployed to Task Force Aviation at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn to establish a helicopter landing zone. As part of the effort, Tech. Sgt. Jason Hancock commandeered a fuel truck to keep generators running. The Field is being used as the major Life Support Area for New York City. The JTACs have worked to deconflict air space with a nearby NYPD landing zone and directed Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter landings and takeoffs.

Hancock Field Team
Over one hundred members of Hancock Field have served a variety of functions at home station to support their fellow deployed Airmen, including manning a 24/7 Emergency Operations Center (EOC), processing relief personnel, and loading equipment and supplies. In addition, many more 174th volunteers are waiting for the call with their bags packed, eager to help in the effort.

"Lots of extra work and exceptional effort has allowed us to get down there and help out," said Lt. Col. Edward Cook, 174th Attack Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron Commander.

The 174th will continue to provide support until the situation can be managed by existing response personnel.