Hurricane Sandy Moves Military Crews, Aircraft to Safety

One of two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft that moved the crew and equipment from the 621st Contingency Response Wing based in New Jersey to Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base so they could remain on alert and able to respond at a moment’s notice.

Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base has become a temporary home for several military aircraft and crews moved out of the path of Hurricane Sandy.

The New Jersey based 621st Contingency Response Wing is a readiness group responsible for assessments and opening up air bases and landing strips after a disaster.

Air Force Col. Kevin Oliver is in charge of the 60 member team temporarily moved from their joint base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

“Ironically, we brought with us the capability to live anywhere in a field, but if we broke out all of our tents then our response time would increase,” Oliver said. “So, in order to keep everyone together, we’re staying in one of the local hotels which is a great experience.”

An interior sot of the equipment loaded inside the C-17 Globemaster which is capable of carrying 18 Air Force pallets or in civilian terms up to six city buses.

Oliver said other parts of their Contingency Response Group stayed put at their bases in Virginia and Kentucky. He expects his team will remain at MacDill only a few days.

Among the crew who arrived at MacDill Sunday is Captain Brian Cooper, a maintenance officer and crew commander. He’s a native of New Jersey and remembers riding out such storms most recently Hurricane Irene 2011.

“Last hurricane was Irene. My wife and I had just gotten a puppy and we sent her and the dog up to New York with her family so they were all together and safe,” Cooper said. “This one, almost exactly a year later, we have a baby on the way and a bigger puppy. So now, they’re up with her parents but they’re still safe.”

Many of the transplanted crew is using social media to stay in touch with their families and get photos of the storm.

Capt. Brian Cooper is a maintenance officer, crew commander and a member of the assessment team with the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

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One Response

  1. Disasters of big dimension enhanced the versatility, flexibility, skill, responsability, will, humanity of our troops. They are warriors against Sandy or other hurricanes, they are warriors ever and for ever and, on any contest, they serve us. How thanks them compiutely? Saying they are the beest of us and are on our hearts. Claudio Alpaca

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