OK Air National Guard Helps With Harvey Relief

Tuesday, August 29th 2017, 8:02 pm
By: News 9

Two planes loaded up and left for Texas to help the victims of Tropical Storm Harvey.

On Tuesday, the Texas Air National Guard flew a C-130 Hercules to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base.  

The Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 137th Special Operations Wing filled the plane with medical equipment and pre-packaged food on its first stop. Eleven medical personnel also got on the plane and flew to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas. 

“There is an Oklahoma Standard, and to be able to be ready and share some of that Oklahoma Standard to our brother and sisters in the south in this time of need is something we are looking forward to doing,” Col. Devin Wooden, Commander of the 137th Special Operations Wing, said.

The plane made a round-trip back to Oklahoma City to board 30 trained medical specialists of the aeromedical evacuation squadron. This squadron is comprised of nurses and medical technicians. 

He said these air guardsmen and women were called to duty, but they are all eager and ready to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. 

When in Texas, the two groups will work together. They will be split up into teams of five and help evacuate hospitals, nursing homes, VA hospitals, and facilities where patients cannot fend for themselves. 

The medical personnel will do all the preparations in taking care of the patients and get them onto the military plane. Then, members of the aeromedical evacuation squadron will care for the patients on the plane while they are being transported to a safe hospital outside of the hurricane zone.

For now, many will be taken to hospitals in north Texas, but some could be taken out-of-state as well. 

“These are our friend and neighbors to the south. Our heart breaks to see what they are having to go through right now, so anything we can do to assist them, we want to be there,” Col. Keith Reed, Commander of the 137th Special Operations Medical Group, said.