Moody Airmen rescue hundreds after Ike - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Moody Airmen rescue hundreds after Ike

By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

September 16, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Airmen from Moody Air Force base are returning home from a deployment to areas devastated by Ike.

In Texas, they joined forces with other airmen and navy personnel from around the country.

Together, they formed a search and rescue expeditionary group that saved hundreds of people and provided relief to many others stranded by the storm.

They brought with them haunting images that came out of rescue missions in Texas.  That's where 200 airmen from the 23rd Wing were called to aid victims of Hurricane Ike.

"We flew several missions where we flew out and assessed the damage, looking for people that may be stranded by high water," says Colonel Darryle Grimes, 347th Wing Commander.  "We also were using pararescuemen to deliver food and water to the people that may be cut off from the ability to get to stores."

The worked around the clock in harsh conditions, performing all types of duties including what they do best.  Search and rescue.

Since being deployed on Saturday, the airmen are being credited for rescuing more than 300 people stranded by Ike.

"Total we flew 150 missions and rescued about 335 people," Grimes says.

But don't call these airmen heroes.

"That's what we are here to do.  It's a great opportunity to take the skills we have trained for and apply them in a way that benefits the American people or anybody in distress."

Because if you ask them, they'll tell you it's just another day on the job.

All but 40 airmen have returned home.

They're expected to return by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

All airmen involved will now get several well deserved days off.

 

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