When nature calls, the Guard responds
By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead, 103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published November 03, 2011
RENTSCHLER FIELD, East Hartford, Conn. -- Approximately 400 members from the Connecticut Army and Air National Guard were called up for state-active duty Nov. 1, 2011, in response to the destruction caused by Storm Alfred on Oct. 29.
The Guardsmen were called for a variety of missions from brush clean-up to dropping off generators and cots to shelters, but the majority of the Guardsmen were called to Rentschler Field to operate a commodities distribution center.
The commodities, water bottles and meals-ready-to-eat, were being distributed to various towns in Connecticut that requested emergency assistance. As of Tuesday, truck loads were being distributed to Suffield, Southbury, Oxford and Avon.
"A lot of us are without power ourselves, so we all know what it is like--we all are in the same boat as far as feeling the effects of the storm," said Staff Sgt. Keith Munsell, medical technician, 103rd Medical Group. So, what we do out here is very critical as far as getting support to the people who need it, said Munsell.
The distribution center is planning to run 24-hour operations through Sunday.
"It's been long days and a lot of hard work, but I can't say enough about the commitment and dedication that our Airmen and Soldiers have displayed here this week. I think it really says a lot about the unique relationship that our Guardsmen have with the local communities -- this is exactly the type of mission that highlights how important the National Guard is when we can leverage our resources for the state mission," said Col. Roy Walton, 103rd Mission Support Group commander.
Earlier on Tuesday, November 1, eight Airmen from the Air and Space Operations Group of the 103rd Airlift Wing at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., loaded up 92 emergency cots from Bradley International Airport to deliver to Vernon Center Middle School which had been turned into an emergency shelter.