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178th making a difference in Texas

  • Published
  • By SMSgt. Joseph Stahl
  • 178th Wing

The 178th Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, Springfield Ohio is assisting in the recovery effort in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The Wing is providing geographical land assessment, map building and providing information on water conditions, infrastructures and flood areas to those involved with the relief efforts in Texas dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

A six-member team located in Springfield is analyzing airborne and commercial satellite imagery remotely providing information to their seventh team member, a liaison officer, located in Austin, Texas, at the Texas National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.

“Since we are doing this here in Ohio, we can send it to Texas, said Col. Rebecca O’Connor, 178th Wing. “That frees up resources in Texas to be able to do those critical tasks like search and rescue.”

The information includes checking routes throughout the flooded areas, which is especially important for first responder crews trying to navigate safely through the affected flooding areas, and checking on critical infrastructure - especially the Barker and Addicks Reservoirs.

“They are down there doing their thing.” said Col. Rebecca O’Connor, 178th Wing. “Anything we can do outside of the disaster zone helps free up those people that are on the ground trying to do those rescue efforts.”

As the recovery effort moves forward, the Wing’s support will only increase.

“As the clouds move out and the imagery starts coming in, we will be able to help out even more,” said Lt. Col Audrey Kawanishi, 178th Wing.

The 178th Wing, along with the entire Air National Guard is always poised to help out in any crisis.

“Anytime there’s a disaster, the first thing people do is say ‘how can I help.’ And this is a way that we can help,” said O’Connor.