TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) — So far, 23 service members from Travis Air Force Base have been deployed to provide humanitarian relief and support in the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
“This is what the Air Force does really well. This is our core competency. We do it on a scale that most other nations, let alone other states can’t match as far as moving patients in the air, even patients that are very ill,” said Col. Justin Nast, Physician, Chief Aerospace Medicine.
The crew includes two critical care air transport teams and a 10-bed staging facility team.
The troops are providing medical aid.
Friday morning, teams were given clearance to start transporting patients from affected areas to nearby hospitals.
“We can do combat operations; we can do aeromedical evacuations. We can supply a bunch of stuff, and we have a small foot print so, we can land on dirt strips, and some stuff that a lot of the larger planes don’t have the capability to do,” said Capt. Joey Brewer, 21st Airlift Squadron Pilot.
Crews are using the C-17 Globe Master, which is capable of delivering troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases.
“Sometimes, it takes more than one; it depends on the equipment really that we are taking. So, extra vehicles, maybe some forklifts to carry cargo. It depends on the location and what is needed from us, but we are ready for anything,” said. TSgt. Nathan Winebarger, 621st contingency response wing.
Crew members are standby with vehicles and supplies. Officials say they are prepared to move out with an hour’s notice.