"No Other Place They Would Rather Be" Kentucky Air National Guard 123d Contingency Response Group - DoD Roundtable
“No other place they would rather be” was the message that Lt. Col. Hilbrecht wanted me to tell his fellow Kentuckians and Americans! He is currently deployed to the Dominican Republic in support of Operation Unified Response, the humanitarian relief mission for Haiti. The Kentucky Air National Guard currently has about 50 members deployed including the 123rd Contingency Response Group in the Dominican Republic and members of the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron in Haiti.
Since last Friday, the Kentucky airmen have processed in excess of 575 tons of supplies at Baharona, Domincan Republic to include an emergency shipment of plasma that was delivered by air into Haiti. Special Tactics airmen have also assisted in emergency supply air deliveries into Haiti with U.S. Air Force C-17s. Combat controllers are used to working in locations devoid of functioning air traffic control. The 123d CRG is teaming up with other nations to form a joint command post (airbase) in the Dominican Republic at Baharona to help expedite additional aid for Haiti.
When the 123d CRG arrived the airfield had not been in use for 15 years and they brought everything to turn it into a 24 hour operation including generators, runway lights, set up a passenger facility (to keep folks out of the sun) and communications. Since they arrived and set up the airfield they have processed 52 C-17s and C-130s which are off loaded and transshipped by truck to Haiti. Lt Col Hilbrecht reported that the roads were good into Haiti but the closer you get to Port-au-Prince the worse they get. They have reduced the truck load weight to make it easier on the truckers and tires due to the conditions.
The colonel made a special note of the special medical cargo they have received that saved 6 lives and 20 women and children flown in by helicopter to their facility for medical attention. All are doing well and reflect the international effort to help the Haitian people during this disaster!
For the latest reports on DoD efforts in Haiti please go to the following MilitaryAvenue Article: Index of the US Military Response (chronologically listed).
To listen to the Roundtable please go to DoDLive! If you would like to keep up on blogs from Lt Col Hilbrecht go to the Kentucky National Guard blog, Unbridled Service!
Photo Credit: The 123rd CRG offloads humanitarian supplies from the Rhode Island Air National Guard. TSgt. Dennis Flora, 123rd Pubic Affairs
Photo Credit: A member of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, right, teams up with his active duty counterpart to establish a relief supply drop zone near Port au Prince, Haiti. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)
Photo Credit: Supplies from a US Air Force C-17 parachute into a landing zone coordinated by Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics operators. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)