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FEMA, DOD Airlift Medical Professionals into NYC

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USTRANSCOM, the sub-department of the US Department of Defense known as the United States Transportation Command, airlifted 300 medical professionals into New York City yesterday.

These airlifted medical personnel are desperately needed in the areas of New York City most affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Primarily, these teams of healthcare professionals known as Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), including nurses and doctors, will be attending to New York’s at-risk nursing home residents and other at-risk elderly.

USNORTHCOM, the United States Northern Command that provides military support for civil authorities within the U.S., has staged four medium rotary wing utility aircraft and four medium rotary wing “Search and Rescue” aircraft at Hanscom AFB, Mass., for potential logistical and search and rescue operations along the coasts of Mass., Conn., and Rhode Island to provide support for FEMA.

USNORTHCOM has also identified and placed some active-duty US military forces on Prepare to Deploy Order status in response to FEMA requests.

The prepared units are composed of light/medium lift helicopters; medium/heavy lift helicopters; para-rescue teams; Information Awareness & Assessment aircraft; Tactical Common Data Link (for sending data and streaming video from airborne platforms to receiver stations on the ground); Rover video receiver systems; and fixed-wing aircraft.

Fourteen helicopters have been made available exclusively for awareness and assessment operations and transporting equipment.

Additionally, in support of USNORTHCOM and the Department of Defense’s Hurricane Sandy response, U.S. Air Mobility Command has provided C-5 and C-17 heavy airlift aircraft support to move power restoration vehicles, associated equipment, as well as non-medical personnel and cargo from Travis and March Air Force Bases, Cal., to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York.

Air Mobility Command also transported 120 medical personnel into the areas of the city most affected by Hurricane Sandy that are a part of the Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Medical Assistance Teams.

As part of that 120-person transport, the 305th Air Mobility Wing from McGuire Air Force, N.J., moved approximately 50 passengers on a C-17 from Columbus, Ohio to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The 436th Airlift Wing from Dover AFB in Delaware moved approximately 70 passengers on a C-17 from Dallas-Fort Worth to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Our thoughts are with the people of New York, New Jersey, the Caribbean, New England, and other regions that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Photo: Helicopter air ambulances and air medical crews similarly staged in Texas in support of FEMA’s response to Hurricane Dean in 2007.

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