107th rushes to aid fellow New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy
By Capt. Elaine J. Nowak, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published October 31, 2012
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION -- 75 members of the 107th Airlift Wing have deployed downstate to aid in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
The all-volunteer group of Airmen is part of the 2,290-member force from across the state ordered to duty by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to respond to the storm.
The group boarded two C-130 aircraft that were headed to Stewart Air National Guard Base early Tuesday evening. They were then bused to Camp Smith Training Site just north of Peekskill, NY. The group will work from Camp Smith and receive their orders for the mission.
"It really gives me a great sense of pride that we can help the citizens of New York State. When people need help we are going to be able to be there, to give them whatever support they need," said Lt. Col. Kenneth Kieliszek, 107th Medical Group Administrator, who volunteered to deploy.
Leadership from the 107th was tasked on Sunday to prepare a team to deploy if called upon for Hurricane Sandy response. Volunteers were put on a one-hour standby recall. Tuesday afternoon the 107th was notified of the deployment and was able to take off just a few short hours later.
"The 107th is always ready, willing and able to perform our domestic operations mission when civil authorities request our help," said Col. Jim McCready, 107th Airlift Wing Commander. "It's particularly rewarding when we can go to the aid of fellow New Yorkers, just like we did last year after Hurricane Irene and after the 9-11 attacks," he said.
It is not known at this time how long the group will be activated. They will give assistance until local authorities can handle the scope of operations.