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Hancock Field Deploys to New York City
New York Air National Brig.Gen. Kevin Bradley (flight suit) thanks members of Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York as they prepare to deploy to New York City to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. (Photo by New York Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Call/Released).
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Hancock Field deploys to Support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Posted 11/2/2012   Updated 11/5/2012 Email story   Print story


by Maj. Jeffrey D. Brown

11/2/2012 - SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- One hundred forty members of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard have deployed for at least 10 days Friday to New York City and Long Island to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

"Seeing the tunnels flooding and the water coming out of those subways, it's amazing," said Lt. Col. Ron Berzins, from the 174th AW. "Seeing the streets of New York City just empty of people ... it's amazing to see that happen unfortunately."

The 174th AW picked up dozens of HUMVEEs at Fort Drum Tuesday morning. After refueling and picking up supplies at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base here, they headed down to Camp Smith near Peekskill. Others headed to Long Island to set up emergency communications systems.

"We had more volunteers than we needed than were tasked for it," said Berzins. "People are anxious ... they're all raising their hand, they all want to go. There's a look of disappointment for those that didn't get chosen. So it's always great to be a part of a team that wants to do this and help others."

Some of these airmen were deployed to help with Irene recovery efforts last year. They expect a similar mission.

"I don't know if it's cleaning up or driving through neighborhoods, making sure everyone's taken care of, meeting immediate needs of people who might need food or water or supplies," said Berzins. "We have the HUMVEEs here that can drive through the flooded streets, so we can bring the supplies to them."

"Much like this, we didn't really have a specific mission set other than to get down there, set up some command and control and get some boots on the ground so we can assist wherever down in the city," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Hancock, a member of the 174th AW.

"Establish communications if we can," added Airman 1st Class Steve Mueller, also of the 174th AW. "That's our primary job. But really just help everyone out."

Whatever their mission, all the New York ANG memebers deploying say they're prepared to help.

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