116th Air Control Wing ready to mobilize for Irma relief

116th ready to mobilize for Irma

Robins Air Force Base has about 1,100 Georgia Air National Guard personnel on a full and part time basis.

The 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard is keeping a watchful eye on Irma.

They are preparing for potential mobilization to deal with Hurricane Irma.

The Civil Engineer Squadron is packed and ready to go with gas, oil, and food for their equipment and personnel. They have heavy moving equipment packed, along with meals and water.


Squad Commander and Major Tasha Folds says they clear roads and deliver supplies.

“We can mobilize and get our troops together and ready to deploy in three and a half hours. We can clear a road in a day. We cleared half of Chatham County in two days during Hurricane Matthew,” Folds said.  

They are on stand by for mobilization orders.

The Security Forces Squadron is also preparing. They provide support to local law enforcement and governments after natural disasters.

Master Sergeant and Squad commander Dominick Andrews says they got valuable experience dealing with Hurricane Matthew last year.

“So, we did everything from traffic control, we did ride-alongs with the police department, and we supported them in any way they had asked us to support them,” Andrews said.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Baffic commands the Medical Group Detachment One, which responds to Georgia disasters. The 47 enlisted medical professionals bring the ER Urgent Care to the field.


“All the same equipment used to do advanced trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support, those types of things. And all the supplies and medications that come with that as well,” Baffic said.

Baffic says they're ready, waiting, and need only a day to mobilize.

Air Wing Vice Commander John Verhage says it just depends on where Irma hits.


“We're ready to go. Just give us the word and we're standing by for that word, that official word to move out,” Verhage said.

The Georgia Air National Guard personnel did want to stress they're here to support local authorities only, they don't take over local control once they're activated.


Verhage says they're ready to assist here in Georgia or in Florida. He says he knows the Governor's office is looking at state active duty authorization.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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