SPRINGFIELD, Ohio --
Six Airmen with the 178th Wing Force Support Squadron, Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, returned from a deployment to Puerto Rico in support of the Hurricane Maria relief mission, Nov. 5.
Airmen with the 178th Wing teamed up with 179th Airlift Wing personnel for a one-month deployment to Caguas, Puerto Rico. The Airmen manned a disaster relief mobile kitchen trailer (DRMKT) to provide meals to service members.
“Airmen used the extremely flexible DRMKT, which supports virtually any field-feeding scenario, from quickly prepared boil-in-the-bag meals to restaurant-quality meals for up to 1,000 people in under 90 minutes,” said 1st Lt. Paul Stennett, 179th Airlift Wing public affairs officer.
The 178th and 179th team of Airmen served thousands of meals to Army National Guard (NG) Soldiers assigned to the 59th Troop Command from South Carolina, and Soldiers from the 190th Engineer Battalion from the Puerto Rico NG.
“We cooked about 9,400 meals,” said Master Sgt. Jason Hague, a member of the 178th Wing Force Support Squadron.
Hague discussed his time in Puerto Rico with the 179th Airlift Wing personnel supporting hurricane relief efforts.
“Despite the conditions, everyone’s morale was very high,” said Hague. “Both teams meshed perfectly.”
The Airmen camped out in a baseball stadium during their deployment. Despite no air conditioning, electricity, or other amenities, the Airmen radiated positivity.
"The energy from the DRMKT team is a relief to the engineers who have been out all day conducting missions" said Capt. Evan Howard, the officer in charge of the team.
Upon his return home, Hague realized the gravity of the devastation in Puerto Rico, and reflected on his gratitude for his family and lifestyle.
“I have a deeper appreciation of the little things,” said Hague.