Wright-Patt C17 crews involved in Texas rescue efforts

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Wright-Patt C17 crews involved in Texas rescue efforts

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A C-17 takes off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. LISA POWELL / STAFF FILE PHOTO

Two C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets based at Wright-Patterson were flying to Texas today to aid relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey unleashed high winds and devastating floods that have forced thousands to flee.

The first flight was due to land at Biggs Army Air Field near El Paso, Texas, to pick up 35 tons of equipment for transport to Kelly Field, Texas, near San Antonio, according to 445th Airlift Wing spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.

A second flight was scheduled to the same bases to transport food, generators and power equipment, she said. “We’re always on standby to support,” she said. “We’re here to support the people of Texas.”

At least one C-17 flight from Wright-Patterson was scheduled on both Thursday and Friday to aid relief efforts, but additional details were not immediately available.

The Air Force Reserve unit flew relief missions in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy that churned into New York and New Jersey off the Atlantic Coast in 2012.

In the biggest relief effort in recent decades, the Wright-Patt wing flew C-141 Starlifters to evacuate more than 400 patients in New Orleans, La., and southwest Texas after Katrina and Rita.

Katrina, a monster storm, caused a widespread path of destruction, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in Mississippi and Louisiana. New Orleans was extensively flooded after a levee holding back water was breached.

In 2012, the Wright-Patterson wing flew 10 C-17 missions carrying 69 patients and 685 tons of equipment and relief supplies —- including blankets, power generators and utility trucks — after Hurricane Sandy rolled into New York and New Jersey.

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