One Delaware Air Guard aircrew and aircraft returns from Hurricane Ike mission, as another aircraft and 39 Airmen continue to serve in Texas

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Delaware Air National Guard
Hedquarters, 166th Airlift Wing
2600 Spruance Drive
New Castle, DE 19720-1615

Release corrected and updated 4:40 p.m. Sept. 15, 2008 (six aircrew returned today; not five aircrew as stated in previous release. Also, three Airmen who were part of larger group of 42 Airmen in Texas since Sept. 9 returned home yesterday, on Sunday Sept. 14, 2008).

Aircraft landed without incident at about 4:23 p.m.

Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard
Office 302-323-3369, or cell 302-593-2126
Release No. 2008-9-005, September 15, 2008 [corrected Release No.]


NEW CASTLE - Later this afternoon, Sept. 15, one Delaware Air National Guard C-130 aircraft and six unit aircrew are scheduled to return home after assisting with Hurricane Ike relief efforts in Texas. The aircraft and aircrew were heading back to Delaware after leaving Des Moines, Iowa Sunday Sept. 14 on a training mission when they were diverted to pick up National Guard troops in Kansas. The Delaware aircraft flew the Kansas troops to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas Sunday to assist with Hurricane Ike relief efforts, and then flew to Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday night.

The six returning Airmen did not move patients, but are standard aircrew (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, and loadmaster) plus one crew chief. NOTE TO NEWS MEDIA: Later this week we anticipate a good chance for media availability when Airmen return home who were heavily involved in patient movement.

Thirty-nine Airmen and another C-130 aircraft from the Delaware Air National Guard remain on the Gulf Coast as part of a larger group of 42 Airmen who arrived in Texas Sept. 9. The 39 Airmen are expected to remain in Texas for several more days this week.

Three Airmen out of the original group of 42 returned home yesterday, Sept. 14, 2008 by commercial aircraft.

The aeromedical evacuation specialists performed precautionary evacuations of about 350 people from the Galveston area before Hurricane Ike made landfall early Saturday morning, Sept. 13. Previously members of the same Delaware unit had evacuated between 250 and 300 people before Hurricane Gustav made landfall.

Two (2) Delaware Army Guard Soldiers are in Austin, Texas, supporting specialized communications equipment needed in relief operations.

Eight (8) Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard are in the Capital Region (greater Washington D.C. area) performing duties to coordinate the ongoing National Guard response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

The Delaware National Guard also has several dozen troops supporting our Joint Operations Center in Wilmington and our Joint Communication, Command, Control and Computer Coordination Center in Smyrna.

Damage assessments from Hurricane Ike continue, and 20,000 local National Guard troops already on the ground plus thousands of civilian authorities are assisting the people of Texas.

At the air base in New Castle, two Delaware Air Guard C-130 aircraft are available for hurricane relief missions if needed. Also, the Delaware National Guard can send 189 troops to respond to the Gulf Coast if requested. These troops are a combination of 54 Airmen and 135 Soldiers from security forces, aviation, engineering, transportation, maintenance, and communication units.

"If the Delaware National Guard is called on for further assistance to help people affected by Hurricane Ike, we stand ready to help," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard. "I could not be more proud of Delaware's quick response to help some of our fellow Americans in Texas."

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

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