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Oklahoma ANG wing sends aid to neighbors for Hurricane Harvey

An airfield manager from the 137th Special Operations Wing, Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, marshals a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, as it takes off from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Aug. 28, 2017. The 137th Special Operations Wing deployed about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

An airfield manager from the 137th Special Operations Wing, Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, marshals a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, as it takes off from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Aug. 28, 2017. The 137th Special Operations Wing deployed about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Lt. Col. Carla Walker (left), 137th Special Operations Medical Group administration officer from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, and Col. Keith Reed (right), 137th MDG commander, support and say goodbye to Airmen from the Medical Group as they board a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, Aug. 28, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The Airmen are part of the 137th Special Operation Wing’s deployment of nearly 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Lt. Col. Carla Walker (left), 137th Special Operations Medical Group administration officer from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, and Col. Keith Reed (right), 137th MDG commander, support and say goodbye to Airmen from the Medical Group as they board a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, Aug. 28, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The Airmen are part of the 137th Special Operation Wing’s deployment of nearly 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Senior Airman Benjamin Anderson, a 137 SOLRS small air terminal specialist, from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, receives direction from a loadmaster from the 136th Airlift Wing, located at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, while loading a pallet of medical equipment and supplies onto a C-130 Hercules from the 136 AW, Aug. 28, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The 137th Special Operations Wing deployed about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Senior Airman Benjamin Anderson, a 137 SOLRS small air terminal specialist, from Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, receives direction from a loadmaster from the 136th Airlift Wing, located at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, while loading a pallet of medical equipment and supplies onto a C-130 Hercules from the 136 AW, Aug. 28, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The 137th Special Operations Wing deployed about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Lt. Col. Darcy Tate, 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander, wishes members from her squadron farewell as they board a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The Airmen are part of the 137th Special Operation Wing’s deployment of about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

Lt. Col. Darcy Tate, 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander, wishes members from her squadron farewell as they board a C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. The Airmen are part of the 137th Special Operation Wing’s deployment of about 40 medical and aeromedical evacuation Airmen and equipment in support of the Texas Military Department and their relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kasey Phipps/Released)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. --

About 40 Airmen from the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 137th Special Operations Wing departed Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, Aug. 29, 2017, to support the Texas Military Department and Texas Emergency Management in relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

Deploying in two waves, the Airmen and their equipment were picked up by a C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 136th Airlift Wing out of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Carswell Field, Texas, and deployed to the same location to wait for further instruction.

“What we’re doing today is responding to an assistance agreement that we have with our brothers and sisters in Texas to bring aide to those in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana in response to Hurricane Harvey,” said Col. Devin R. Wooden, 137 SOW commander. “We will be there as long as they need us.”

The first unit, composed of 11 Airmen from the 137th Special Operations Medical Group, will offer their expertise and portable medical equipment to help evacuate patients from affected medical care facilities.

“The Medical Group has been requested by Texas Emergency Management to assist with hospital and nursing home patient evacuation from the Houston area,” said Col. Keith Reed, 137 SOMDG commander. “Our En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) includes equipment and medical personnel specially trained to stage and prepare patients for military air transport to facilities outside the affected area. We will partner with Texas Air National Guard medical personnel and work until this particular need is met.”

The Airmen from 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who deployed later the same day, comprised five aeromedical evacuation aircrews and about 30 Airmen in total. They will assist in patient care and stabilization during air transport out of the heavily impacted areas.

The last time Airmen from the 137 SOW deployed in support of domestic operations was in 2013 following the May 20 tornado that ripped through Oklahoma. As an Air National Guard unit, the 137 SOW’s Airmen volunteered to put full-time, mostly civilian jobs on hold to help friends and neighbors in the capacities they have witnessed and trained so often for.

“It’s been said that through the Oklahoma City bombing and tornadoes we’ve had over the last few decades, there is an Oklahoma Standard,” said Wooden. “To be ready and prepared to share some of that Oklahoma Standard with our brothers and sisters to the South and help them in this time of need is something we’re all looking forward to doing.”