Wright-Patt conducts HURREVAC operations

  • Published
  • By By Brian Dietrick
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - The Mighty 88th Air Base Wing lived up to their motto of “Strength through Support” this week as dozens of aircraft and aircrews from installations affected by Hurricane Ian arrived at Wright-Patterson AFB seeking safety from the oncoming storm. 

Due to hurricane evacuation, or HURREVAC, aircraft began arriving to Wright-Patt Sept. 27 as the first wave started to offload personnel and support equipment. The arrival and departure times of all incoming aircraft are dependent on the future movement and direction of the storm.

“We are open 24/7,” said Capt. Elizabeth Andrade airfield operations flight commander with the 88th Operational Support Squadron. “We work as a team with different locations and installations to come together as one to protect our aircraft and our people.”

Because Wright-Patt provides a safe, secure and reliable operating environment, the large airfield provides plenty of room to provide space and storage for all incoming aircraft, personnel and equipment.

“This is what we train for and our preparation is constant,” says Andrade. “My team is very excited to have the opportunity to control live aircraft vice using a simulator. My team knows exactly what they’re doing and they have my full trust in them.”

Maj. Sarah Green, 1st Special Operations Wing HURREVAC mission commander, said the on-going partnership with Wright-Patt ensures a seamless transition every time a mission of this nature needs to be carried out.

According to Green, Hurlburt Field launched aircraft in anticipation of Hurricane Ian. She mentioned the special relationship between Team Hurlburt and Team Wright-Patt.

“There are so many moving parts when trying to move [many] different types of aircraft and personnel,” said Green. “Having a seamless transition to bring everything here to Wright-Patt makes our jobs so much easier. Wright-Patt is very accommodating to all of our needs to ensure a smooth transition to and from."

Green added how awesome it is to see what military organizations can do when they work together, sometimes in a very short amount of time. “It takes an entire installation working together to make these types of missions successful."

The support doesn’t end on the flightline with receiving and launching aircraft. Personnel traveling with the aircraft need lodging and meal accommodations and the arriving equipment needs to be stored.

“Logistically, we’re going to be all over the place,” said Richard King with the 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron. We take them from the plane to base operations and then to lodging on or off base. We have a lot of good people who stay ready to go to provide support.”

Whether it’s providing food and beverage at the chow hall or resupplying equipment and vehicles, Team Wright-Patt fuels our mission partners to press on and ensure mission success.

“We are in constant communication and coordination with other installations,” said Stephan Lemieux, fuels alternate terminal manager with the 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “It’s great to work with other bases and other aircraft so then we can use that and figure out how to best support them. We’re always prepared and always ready for anything.”

The 88th Force Support Squadron led the charge on finding lodging to ensure every member who evacuated to Wright-Patt had a place to stay.

“My lodging team has contacted over 30 hotels to ensure that members who come here have a place to stay,” said Audric Bills, 88th Force Support Squadron director. “An important part of the effort was meeting them at the in-bound point and making the lodging connection, whether on or off base.”

“Our overall mission is to ensure all members have lodging/bed down during the HURREVAC mission."

The aircraft from other installations being moved here may be safe and sound out of the storm but their parent commands still have a mission to carry out. According to the 1SOW commander, Wright-Patt is a vital component of their mission success during this HURREVAC.

"Whether we need to respond to recovery options in central or south Florida, or to an emerging crisis or contingency overseas, we have our planes and people safely postured to do so and we couldn't do that without Team Wright-Patt," said Col. Allison Black, 1st SOW commander.

The 1st SOW is a pivotal component of Air Force Special Operations Command's ability to provide airpower to conduct special operations missions worldwide. The primary mission of the 1SOW is to rapidly plan and execute specialized and contingency operations in support of national priorities.

Wright-Patt enables delivery of war-winning capabilities and missions like HURREVAC is just one aspect to why the Mighty 88th is regarded as the premier air base wing in the Air Force.