HomeNews

News Search

Eglin pitches in to help with hurricane relief

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

California Task Force Three presents Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, 96th Test Wing commander, a unit flag as a sign of appreciation at the 96th TW headquarters building at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Mark Gose, New Jersey Task Force One personnel manager and task force leader, salutes during retreat at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Sergeant 1st Class Christian Dreyer, New Jersey Task Force One, works in the command and control room at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Alice Holmes, New Jersey Task Force One canine coordinator, opens the crate for a NJ-TF1 canine at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

A New Jersey Task Force One structural engineer, trains on system used to measure distance to show movement in unstable structures at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Brian Juncosa, New Jersey Task Force One structural engineer, trains on a system used to measure distance to show movement in unstable structures near the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

A Nebraska Task Force One member works in the command and control room at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

A task force situational awareness board sits at the entrance of one of the command and control rooms at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

FEMA task force members relax in the basketball court among cots with packed bags during dinner time at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 13. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 15

Task force urban search and rescue canines rest in their crates in the racquetball court at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 13. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 15

A New Jersey Task Force One box truck sits parked near the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 13. The box trucks hold equipment used to launch rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 15

A New Jersey Task Force One canine handler, exercises a search and rescue canine near the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 15

A New Jersey Task Force One member briefs at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 15

New Jersey Task Force One members listen to a departure brief at the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 13. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

The base pitches in to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 15 of 15

California Task Force Eight from San Diego carry their bags as they begin to depart near the fitness center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Sept. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As Hurricane Irma barreled toward the state’s coast, 96th Test Wing Airmen made preparations to house more than 300 Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel.

Hurricane relief agencies identified Eglin as an intermediate staging base due to its location, logistic capabilities and ability to handle large numbers of personnel. On Sept. 8, a FEMA task force made up of urban search and rescue teams from California, Nebraska and New Jersey began to arrive here.

“This strategic prepositioning of FEMA assets enabled critical life-saving search and rescue capabilities to be closer to the areas expected to be impacted by Hurricane Irma to reduce response time for those in need if called upon,” said Col. Jade Nordstrom, 1st Air Force emergency preparedness liason officer. “This interagency interdependence is a hallmark of federal, state and local efforts to make recoveries from natural disasters much more successful."

As the emergency operations center here prepared to handle local impacts from Irma, the base commander gave the order to support FEMA.  The base began to receive more than 360 FEMA members, 13 rescue canines, as well as customs and border patrol agents along with their equipment.

“The opportunity to provide support to FEMA enabled our personnel to put many of their deployment readiness skills to use right here at home,” said Col. David Willcox, 96th Mission Support Group commander. “In a very short time we shifted from preparing to evacuate and close the base to receiving and caring for several hundred FEMA professionals.”

The vetting of these personnel for base access and the sweep of 80 tractor trailers, buses and passenger vehicles kept the 96th Security Forces Squadron busy through the night. The logistics readiness and force support squadrons set up 24-hour operations to bed down and feed personnel as they arrived, according to Maj. Jennifer Mack, 96th Force Support Squadron commander.

The 96th MSG’s finance and communication squadrons worked with the 96th Civil Engineer Group to monitor and manage logistics requests to ensure the staging areas met FEMA’s needs to successfully carry out disaster response operations.

The main fitness center became FEMA’s operations hub. No room was spared. The basketball court housed 280 personnel. The rescue dogs and their handlers were accommodated in the racquetball courts and additional rooms were used for command and control operations.  An additional task force of 80 personnel was staged at the old Oak Hill Elementary School.

Base personnel were supportive of the task force from the moment they arrived.

“The base commander was here with his wife the first night and heard we needed dog crates. Thirty minutes later, we had military working dog crates for our dogs,” said Alice Holmes, canine coordinator for New Jersey Task Force One. “Not only did we not have to unpack and repack the limited number of crates we had in the event we had to make a quick departure, it gave our dogs a place for down time away from all the activity.”

The task force personnel found the installation exceeded their needs. They had plenty of space and access to base facilities to train, said to Holmes.

While the task force awaited mobilization orders, they took advantage of the downtime and the facilities to brush up on their operation components, that are search, rescue, planning, logistics, hazardous materials and medical.

The co-location of three of the four urban search and rescue teams in the gym allowed them to share valuable training opportunities and promoted camaraderie.

“We have teams from New Jersey, Nebraska and California who have never met before. Now, they trained together, swapped secrets, and shared equipment information,” said Mark Gose, personnel manager and task force leader for NJ-TF1. “It has been a win-win for us.”

Throughout their stay, the support staff went above and beyond, according to Gose.

“Every time we made a request the fitness center team would tell us it was their mission to help us accomplish ours,” he said.

 The feeling was mutual as the FEMA teams demobilized and headed back to their home stations Sept. 13.

 “The teams that arrived at our gates were exceptional professionals and guests. In a very short time frame became new friends,” said Willcox. “I’m also proud of the 96 TW team. Yet again, we proved that together we can do anything.”

Eglin App

Social Media

Facebook Twitter
Practice makes perfect. Blue battles Red. The 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Blue team claimed the weapons load crew supremacy victory July 13, 2018. The quarterly competitions ensure our Airmen are skilled at weapons loading. #FlyFightWin
Thanks to a recent innovative idea, the 96th Test Wing’s support and defense unit became its latest developmental test squadron. https://bit.ly/2NVKt2s
NOISE ADVISORY. Engineers with the 780th Test Squadron are scheduled to conduct a munitions test July 17-18, 2018. The test, which will take place on Range B-75, is expected to produce a large blast that may be noticeable to residents and visitors throughout the local area. For information, call 882-2836. Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce | Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce | Crestview Area Chamber | Destin Chamber of Commerce | Navarre Chamber | Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce | Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office | Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. | Escambia County Sheriff's Office | Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office FL | Niceville Police Department
#FlashbackFriday Premier College Intern Program participants lift off on a UH-1 familiarization flight with the 413th Flight Test Squadron here on June 27. The 12 interns are in a new three-month paid summer internship. The goal is to recruit the best engineering students for the Air Force. #AimHigh Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce | Destin Chamber of Commerce | Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce | Walton Area Chamber of Commerce | Crestview Area Chamber | Navarre Chamber | Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce
👏👏👏 Congratulations Sergeant. This 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldier will compete in the U.S. Army Best Warrior competition Sept. 30, 2018. #AimHigh
Do you know these squared away Airmen? They recently graduated from the Honor Guard's 120-plus-hour course. Well done! DYK: #Eglin's Honor Guard performs in more than 400 ceremonies a year. Their primary duty is to provide dignified military funeral honors for Airmen that served the country with honor. Their area of responsibility spans 20 counties throughout the #Florida and #Alabama region. US Air Force Honor Guard | 33rd Fighter Wing | 53d Wing - Eglin AFB | AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group
Your #AirForce - always there.
#MondayMotivation The Alpha Warrior Tour obstacle rig is coming July 30-31. Do you have what it takes? “I had never done this type of training before Alpha Warrior came to the bases,” said, First Lt. Nicole Mitchell, stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. “It was really fun and is a great way to help people get into a different workout routine.” Alpha Warrior, built around a unique apparatus, challenges Airmen as they tackle the various obstacles or stations. The AWT is open to all branches of service. Call the main fitness center at 882-6223 for information and read more here: https://bit.ly/2m4D4Rx 33rd Fighter Wing | 53d Wing - Eglin AFB | The 7th Special Forces Group | AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group | 919th Special Operations Wing | 20th Space Control Squadron | Eglin Spouses' Club
The little bird, a baby least tern, fell from the roof of the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron's building. When quick thinking LRS troops saw what happened, they called Jackson Guard for assistance. JG then enlisted the help of the 96th Civil Engineer HVAC personnel to access the roof. Once JG wildlife biologists gained access to the roof they reunited the young least tern with its flock! Least Terns are listed as a threatened species by the state of Florida. Well done Airmen! #FridayFeeling Eglin Life | Eglin Spouses' Club | Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
DYK: The 96th Security Forces Squadron Defenders defend the 724 square mile Eglin reservation and its waterways. #ThursdayThoughts Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office | Niceville Police Department | Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. | Escambia County Sheriff's Office | Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office FL
#HappyIndependenceDay 🇺🇸 33rd Fighter Wing 53d Wing - Eglin AFB AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group 919th Special Operations Wing 20th Space Control Squadron Eglin Spouses' Club The 7th Special Forces Group
Happy Fourth of July! 🇺🇲️ An Independence Day message from your United States Air Force leadership. Heather Wilson | Gen. David L. Goldfein | CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright | 33rd Fighter Wing | 53d Wing - Eglin AFB | AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group | @919th Special Operations Wing | 20th Space Control Squadron
Surrounded by 50 state flags, a giant American flag, heavy humidity and almost 4,000 eyes, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein took to the stage during an all-call here. The general addressed the state of the Air Force and the service’s ongoing effort to revitalize squadrons, strength joint leaders and teams, and advance multi-domain command and control. He also praised Eglin’s efforts in the modernization field and with keeping the warfighter up to date on the battlefield. “In the short time I’ve been here, I can say you are leading the effort when it comes to innovative thinking,” he said. In his closing remarks the CSAF shared his love for the job and the people at his command. “It has never been a more important time to serve and as your chief, I couldn’t be prouder to serve with you,” said Goldfein. 33rd Fighter Wing | 53d Wing - Eglin AFB | AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group | 919th Special Operations Wing | 20th Space Control Squadron |
"There are so many steps to get to where I want to be, but I'm willing to go that far and do whatever it takes to become the best Air Force pilot I can be,” said Airman 1st Class Brianna Lisner, 58th Fighter Squadron aerospace scheduler. Lisner was selected for a T-38C Talon II incentive flight with the intention of one day becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. #KnowYourMil 33rd Fighter Wing
#FlashbackFriday The 'Hog' makes history The A-10C has already demonstrated tremendous capability in supporting the Global War on Terror. According to then 40th Flight Test Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Evan Dertien, now Gen. and 96th Test Wing commander, putting this bomb on the aircraft "will give the A-10 an outstanding precision targeting capability that will help the Air Force continue to provide precision engagement." While making Air Force history was a great feeling for the 40th team, Dertien said the rewards of a successful test are more far reaching. "When the weapons are proven in combat and you get feedback from the deployed flying units that a capability worked as expected and made a difference in the fight, that's the big payoff," he said. For the first time a guided bomb unit-54, the Laser Joint Directed Attack Munition, or LJDAM, was dropped from an A-10C November, 2008. Air Force Materiel Command​ | Warthog News​ | A10 Warthog
U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 32 from Naval Air Station Oceana trained here at the 33rd Fighter Wing to integrate F/A-18 Hornet and F-35A Lightning II flight operations to prepare for joint warfare in the future. “This training not only helps the Navy pilots and maintainers, but also teaches our Airmen how to operate in the joint environment,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Erik Axt, 33d FW Director of Staff and F-35A instructor pilot. “Changing the people and the assets we’re working with adds training value for all of us.” https://bit.ly/2tKh9Tq
Test wing aces latest unit inspection “Overall, the Inspector General's team was very impressed by the wing,” said Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, 96th TW commander, in a letter to wing Airmen. “’Highly Effective’ ratings are very rare, so getting two is an outstanding accomplishment and reflection of your hard work.” UEIs focus on helping wing commanders identify areas of improvement to better support the mission. “The 96th TW continues to set the example for performance,” said Dertien. “When the final UEI report is released it will contain both strengths and recommended improvement areas. We can continue improving our unit to meet the needs of the Air Force and our nation’s warfighters.” Air Force Materiel Command's Inspector General's inspection served as a continual evaluation of performance from April 2016 to now. The four major graded areas were: executing the mission, managing resources, improving the unit and leading the people. Air Force Materiel Command
What we do. Air Force Materiel Command develops and supports war-winning capabilities for the nation. That's our mission. Our Airmen support the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard and our allies around the world. Watch to learn more. #FlyFightWin
Remembering the Khobar Towers The sacrifice of our fallen heroes is never forgotten. Each year, past and present members and families of the 33rd Fighter Wing meet at the Khobar Towers Memorial here to honor the 12 Nomads and seven other Airmen who were killed during the terrorist attack in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996. 53d Wing - Eglin AFB | 919th Special Operations Wing | 20th Space Control Squadron | AFMS - Eglin - 96 Medical Group | Eglin Spouses' Club
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: The @usairforce is more ready today thanks to increased funding provided by #Congress & the signing of the #FY19NDAA i…
@EdwinsJrVikings The best wingman ever!
"As far as I know, the military is the only organization who recognizes Women’s Equality Day,” said Pat Hollarn, fo… https://t.co/dKAScYH9h3
#MondayMotivation We don’t fly airplanes, don’t drop bombs. We make sure the airplanes fly the bombs are reliable &… https://t.co/3ceWCLjgcy
RT @OCSOALERTS: When you just earned one of the coolest jobs in @usairforce! Or on the 🌎 for that matter. Well done Lt Col Caldwell 👏👏👏@AF
#FridayFeeling “This is an incredible and unique opportunity,” said Lt Col John Caldwell, 28 TES commander, 53d Win… https://t.co/15dn4bLXBh
#ThrowbackThursday #Eglin Field personnel moving the JB-2 circa 1944 The JB-2 surface-to-surface missile was aka Th… https://t.co/xxBp13FJ3m
@ECSONews @usairforce EOD Airmen awarded Bronze Stars, #Purple Hearts #HonorThem #PurpleHeartDay https://t.co/56fawv7jvB
@ECSONews @usairforce Thank you @ESCONews A1C Andrew Vu & Janette Gonzalez 96 Security Forces Sq earned the… https://t.co/WZvqbpoimX
This #PurpleHeartDay we honor and remember our #Military men and women who received the #PurpleHeart. The military… https://t.co/N3cl7tXImB
Airman mother pro bodybuilder 💪🏼 🏆 Lt Col Carrie Register 53 Elec Warfare Grp deputy commander leads 850 aircrew en… https://t.co/k4uJnYfCKu
@mmahesh1011 @thef35 @usairforce @OkaloosaCounty Correct 23K. We apologize for the typo. Thank you for noticing!
#MondayMotivation Retweet if this @thef35 image motivates you. A 33 Aircraft Maintenance Sq loads a GBU-12 into an… https://t.co/zQnmrThDfY
This day 46 years ago the F-15 #Eagle made its first supersonic flight. #FlyFightWin #FlashbackFriday https://t.co/aO7YIk1lcZ
A munitions shed on #Eglin circa 1940. W/ outbreak of war in #Europe in 1939 & President Roosevelt’s call to expand… https://t.co/4TS8EMlzPV

Eglin quick links