Airmen from Battle Creek Air National Guard Base have been activated to support relief operations for Hurricane Florence with the Air National Guard Readiness Center’s Crisis Action Team out of the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. According to Public Affairs Officer Andrew Layton, base leaders received the tasking on Thursday from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. The order came hours before Hurricane Florence made landfall as a nearly stalled Category 1 storm on the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Battle Creek Air National Guard (Courtesy Andrew Layton)
Battle Creek Air National Guard (Courtesy Andrew Layton)

So far, three members of the base’s 217th Air Component Operations Squadron have been called up to assist with planning and command as well as control operations which oversee response to the current hurricane emergency in the southeastern states being affected by the storm. They will provide air operations, logistics, and supervisory expertise as the Crisis Action Team maintains 24/7 awareness of the hurricane and any recovery efforts.  More airmen may be activated in the coming days.

“These positions are critical to the success of the Air National Guard response to the hurricane and its aftereffects. We are trained and ready to respond in times of crisis – to be called like this is why we joined the Guard.” Lt. Col. Kent Harbaugh, commander of the 217 ACOS.

According to Layton, the 217 ACOS is part of the base’s state-of-the-art Air Operations Group, which specializes in mission planning, to include the creation and synthesis of complex air tasking orders used by commanders to delegate strategic objectives to aircrews.

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