70th Flying Training Squadron Airmen donate and deliver hurricane relief supplies to South Texas
By Janis El Shabazz, 340 FTG Public Affairs
/ Published September 20, 2017
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Following Hurricane Harvey’s path of destruction, many communities in south Texas were isolated from normal distribution chains and running critically short on essential supplies. Reserve Airmen from the 340th Flying Training Group’s 70th Flying Training Squadron at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., teamed up with an expeditiously-formed group of general aviation pilots to help affected citizens in Beaumont, Texas over Labor Day weekend.
70th FTS Powered Flight Commander Maj. Matt “Diesel” Cummins used his personal aircraft to directly fly in more than 600 pounds of critically requested supplies donated by his Colorado-based squadron members and their Total Force partners. “With more than 3,000 U.S. airports accessible to general aviation, small privately-owned aircraft can be quickly mobilized to support disaster relief efforts in isolated communities that won’t receive the support of larger cities,” said Cummins.
By the time its airborne relief efforts were concluded, the operation reported “an all-volunteer” air force of 200-plus pilots with more than 160 unique aircraft moved 250,000-plus pounds of Harvey relief supplies to more than 30 airfields in fewer than 10 days; 97 percent of the fields we airlifted to were reachable only by smaller planes,” Cummins said.
“I think it’s a testament to the Citizen Airmen culture that members are constantly ingrained and attuned to the needs of communities in need and ready to provide assistance in any capacity possible” he added.