28th CES steps up for disaster relief
By Airman Ashley J. Woolridge, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 07, 2012
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- While most of Ellsworth's personnel were calling it a night, Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron were boarding a C-17 Globemaster to lend a helping hand more than 1,500 miles away.
Eight Airmen, equipment and supplies headed to McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., the evening of Nov.2, in response to a tasking by U.S. Air Force North to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in the New York area.
"We were asked to provide eight people, two four-by-four trucks and two water pumps," said Rick Schroeder, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer. "The area doesn't have the resources to support our personnel, so the team will also take their own sleeping bags and MREs (meals-ready-to-eat), along with some minor supplies to set up the pumps."
Tech. Sgt. Christopher LeBlanc, 28th CES water and fuels systems technician and relief team chief, said he and his crew have been tasked to perform water removal in the area, but can help with structural issues if needed.
"We have people that need help, and we have the skills to do it," LeBlanc said. "We're happy to do it."
The 28th BW is one of several wings asked to support the tasking that currently includes a request for 13 pumps and 48 personnel. Other Air Combat Command installations providing support include: 823rd RED HORSE, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; 633rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; 55th Wing, Offutt AFB, Neb.; 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; 49th Munitions Maintenance Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.; and Joint Base Andrews, Md. Other major commands such as Air Mobility Command are providing vital support as well.
LeBlanc added he is proud of the Airmen joining him on this mission.
"It's a great honor to be chosen for this," LeBlanc said. "These men are the pick of the litter."
Tech. Sgt. Demond Ingram, 28th CES electrical systems technician and relief team member, was enthusiastic about the trip.
"We're going out to be ambassadors of CE (the 28th CES) and represent team Ellsworth," Ingram said.
Schroeder added disaster relief is all in a day's work for Ellsworth Airmen. "As a military unit, we're always standing by - ready to help at any time."