Ky. Air National Guard sending 18 to assist with Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts

08/28/2017 11:00 AM

The Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron is sending 18 airmen to assist with rescue efforts in Texas, which has experienced massive flooding in Houston and the surrounding areas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

At least five people are dead in the aftermath of the hurricane, and the Kentucky squadron will help those who remain trapped by floodwaters.

The group deployed to Fort Hood, Texas, Sunday evening, according to a news release.

Fourteen of those deployed will be split into two recovery teams, which has experience with swift-water rescues, confined-space operations and emergency medical care and will utilize hurricane-specific recovery gear like inflatable motor boats. The remaining four will help staff an Austere Special Tactics Operations Center.

“These Airmen are some of the most dedicated and professional special operators in the entire United States Armed Forces,” Col. David Mounkes, commander of the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they work to assist residents who have been stranded by Hurricane Harvey and the historic flooding in Texas.”

The 123rd Special Tactics Squadron has previously assisted rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helping operating a helicopter landing zone on a highway overpass in New Orleans to evacuate some 12,000 stranded residents in 2005, according to the release.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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