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178th Wing assists with relief efforts for storm-ravaged states

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rachel Simones
  • 178th Wing

Airmen with the 178th Wing Incident Awareness and Assessment team provide support for states affected by tropical storm Florence at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Sept. 14-20.

“The Ohio Air National Guard is unique because it can utilize its federal mission sets to assist state-side during times of natural disasters like these,” said Lt. Col. Kimberly Fitzgerald, the 178th Wing vice commander.

The 178th Wing IAA team gathers imagery from commercial satellites and publicly provided information to relay to emergency responders on the ground in North Carolina and South Carolina. The information they provide increases life-saving capabilities and protects key infrastructure.

“We are able to provide incident commanders with situational awareness for the affected areas that we’re working in,” Staff Sgt. John, a member with the 178th Wing IAA team.

The team is also coordinating with the National Guard Bureau and emergency relief personnel in the affected states to assist their efforts.

“Although we’re representatives for the state of Ohio, it’s gratifying to be able to help other states throughout the country when they are in need,” said John.

The 178th Wing has a history of assisting the nation in times of natural disasters. Last year, Airmen provided imagery analysis for states and territories that sustained damage from hurricanes.

“We provided support last year during hurricane season that occurred in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico,” said John. “It is truly rewarding to utilize our skills throughout the country in times of need.”