Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Soldiers continue massive relief effort for flooded Houston

By Spc. Dustin D. Biven | 22ND MOBILE PUBLIC AFFAIRS DETACHMENT | September 08, 2017

KATY, Texas — In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Army has deployed more than 700 wheeled vehicles and more than 90 helicopters. These assets are invaluable, but it is the people who fill the more than 16,000 uniforms aiding in the recovery who are making the difference to those in need.

    This included Soldiers from the 24th Composite Truck Company, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. They were among thousands throughout the armed forces preparing to offer defense support of civil authorities following the destruction caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. The 24th CTC initially deployed to the area Sept. 2, but was ordered by U.S. Army Forces Command to return to Fort Riley Sept. 4.

       Since the relief effort began, soldiers have saved 6,000 people in Texas and Louisiana and have rescued hundreds of pets.

       “We are very proud to do this. It means so much,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Masias, a commander and pilot in the Texas Army National Guard. “Every time we get a mission, we know we are doing something good for people, and we know what we are doing is helping people in need out.”

        Masias has conducted several missions with his crew to deliver life-supporting supplies to affected communities.

 

MAJOR HUB

       Houston Executive Airport here, just outside of Houston, has become a major hub for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Military aircraft are continuously coming and going. Missions include rescue, supply distribution or troop transportation.

     Maj. Scott S. Davis, a flight physical assistant assigned to the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, participated in multiple supply drops, including a Sept. 1 food and water drop-off in Sour Lake, Texas.

     “Watching these pilots, crew chiefs and maintenance crews work hard to get much needed supplies to those most in need has been one of the highlights of my career,” Davis said.

      Aviation missions from Houston Executive Airport have been running continu­ously since Aug. 31. Transport by aircraft has been effective and efficient, with a demand­ing schedule for pilots and crews.

 

24-HOUR OPERATIONS

     “We’re on 24-hour op­erations now, flying day and night,” said Pvt. Rob­ert Paul, an infantryman in the Texas Army Nation­al Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment, who was called up to sup­port the relief operations. “We’re just getting started. There are plenty out there who need our help.”

     Thousands of people along the Gulf Coast suffered from Hurricane Harvey. The ef­forts to relieve those in need include contributions from service members from all over the country.

     “The moment we saw that people were in need, we answered their call. In situa­tions like this, it’s not Texans helping Texas, or Louisianans helping Louisiana,” Masias said. “We have people from all over coming to help, so it’s re­ally Americans helping Ameri­cans, and it’s amazing.”