SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. --
In response to monumental flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Coast Guard members from the Great Lakes region prepared to deploy from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, based here, yesterday, with a little help from their neighbors. Master Sgt. Robert Roby, Tech. Sgt. Ken Williams and Tech. Sgt. Jason Bucholtz, air transportation specialists with the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Small Air Terminal here, supported Coast Guard personnel by palletizing and then loading their assets into their C-27 Spartan.
"We are just doing our part to support the recovery effort after Harvey," said Bucholtz.
The 127th Wing’s small air terminal team was uniquely qualified to assist as the Air Station does not have the specialized infrastructure or personnel for loading cargo of that size onto larger aircraft.
After they arrive at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Coast Guard crews will provide search, rescue and humanitarian aid relief using quick-deployable rafts, among other assets. The 15 foot long, yellow rafts, typically used in the Great Lakes region during ice rescues, will be repurposed to assist in transporting aid and during rescue missions.
"The boats will be used to go in houses, [the crews] will go in and clear them out," said Chief Petty Officer Mark Szoboszlay, U. S. Coast Guard Station Ludington. "I think it will be very successful."
The Coast Guard deployment out of Selfridge is the second group headed south this week from the base. The U. S. Customs and Border Protection's Northern Region Air and Marine Operation based here also sent a four-person team along with a Blackhawk helicopter on Monday.