HomeNewsArticle Display

When nature calls, the Guard responds

Master Sgt. Fenton Lewis from the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron pulls a pallet of water closer to the trailer’s edge as Senior Master Sgt. D. Matthew Liddell, superintendent, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, gives the commands from inside the trailer at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Nov. 1, 2011. Both the Airmen are part of the Connecticut National Guard’s commodities distribution center that is staging water and meals-ready-to-eat for delivery to Connecticut towns in need in the wake of the massive destruction caused by an autumn snowstorm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead)

Master Sgt. Fenton Lewis from the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron pulls a pallet of water closer to the trailer’s edge as Senior Master Sgt. D. Matthew Liddell, superintendent, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, gives the commands from inside the trailer at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Nov. 1, 2011. Both the Airmen are part of the Connecticut National Guard’s commodities distribution center that is staging water and meals-ready-to-eat for delivery to Connecticut towns in need in the wake of the massive destruction caused by an autumn snowstorm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead)

Col. Peter J. DePatie, commander, 103rd Air and Space Operations Group, hands an emergency cot to another Airman loading up a truck destined for a shelter at Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon, Conn. Nov. 1, 2011. The Airmen loaded 92 cots as part of the relief effort to assist residents of Connecticut after the destruction caused by Storm Alfred on Oct. 29, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Col. Peter J. DePatie, commander, 103rd Air and Space Operations Group, hands an emergency cot to another Airman loading up a truck destined for a shelter at Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon, Conn. Nov. 1, 2011. The Airmen loaded 92 cots as part of the relief effort to assist residents of Connecticut after the destruction caused by Storm Alfred on Oct. 29, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Lt. Joshua Leard from the 1048th Medium Truck Co. and Sgt. 1st Class Damon Matus from the 169th Regiment, regional training institute, go over the process of keeping track of what supply trucks have deployed to Connecticut locations to deliver cases of meals-ready-to-eat and water Nov. 1, 2011. The two Soldiers from the Connecticut Army National Guard were part of the commodities distribution center temporarily set up at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to provide relief to towns in need in the wake of the massive destruction caused by an autumn snowstorm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead)

Lt. Joshua Leard from the 1048th Medium Truck Co. and Sgt. 1st Class Damon Matus from the 169th Regiment, regional training institute, go over the process of keeping track of what supply trucks have deployed to Connecticut locations to deliver cases of meals-ready-to-eat and water Nov. 1, 2011. The two Soldiers from the Connecticut Army National Guard were part of the commodities distribution center temporarily set up at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., to provide relief to towns in need in the wake of the massive destruction caused by an autumn snowstorm. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead)

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.