FEMA stands up support base at JBSA-Randolph

  • Published
  • By Dan Hawkins
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

An Incident Support Base led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency stood up and began Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts at JBSA-Randolph Aug. 31.

The mission of the ISB is to stage supplies such as water, meals, generators, and other equipment in areas near the impacted areas without hindering ongoing disaster relief operations.

"Standing up the (JBSA-Randolph) ISB will relieve the pressure from the JBSA-Seguin ISB location immensely," Dale Smoot, FEMA ISB group staging manager, said. "Having two locations to stage supplies in relative proximity to one another is a huge asset for us to have.

JBSA units, including the 502nd Air Base Wing and the 12th Flying Training Wing, assisted FEMA and the Defense Logistics Agency with logistical and security support in getting the ISB established.

Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander, discussed the mindset in accomplishing this humanitarian effort.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities in Texas and Louisiana who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey," Pringle said. "We stand ready to continue to assist FEMA and other federal, state and local authorities address the difficult challenges posed by this natural disaster."

"Initial operations for the ISB are focused on positioning approximately 100 shuttle drivers, who will help ferry supplies to those in need," Maj. Jessie Holmes, DLA's officer in charge at the ISB, said.  "Overflow traffic from the JBSA-Seguin ISB can then be re-routed to the Randolph location as it fills up."

Members of the 502nd ABW staff, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron and 902 Security Forces Squadron, in addition to the 12th FTW, worked with FEMA and DLA planners to ready the south ramp of JBSA-Randolph to accept the first influx of vehicles at the ISB.

"Our entire team did great work setting up the ISB area on a short timeline," Col. Tommie Miner, 502nd Security and Readiness Group commander, said. "From creating a perimeter for the ISB, setting up structures for command and control, to painting new lines on the taxiways to facilitate flying operations, everything was done with a singular focus of mission readiness."

Col. Joel Carey, 12th FTW commander, was proud to be able to assist FEMA with the hurricane relief effort.

"(Air Force personnel) all come from different walks of life and have experienced tough times somewhere along the line," he said. "Even though we have our day-to-day military mission to accomplish and there will some challenges to work through, there is a great need to support our neighbors during this difficult time and that's what we're going to do."