Responding to Katrina

This is a picture of the commissary (grocery) at Keesler AFB in Biloxi. Hurricane Katrina has had a devestating impact. Air Mobility Command, to which I belong as part of the staff for the 89th Air Wing, has been put on alert to provide assistance. (read here)

Andrews personnel and facilities are being utilized right now for the relief efforts. 400 members of an Air Force retirement home will be housed temporarily here. (read more) In addition, several of our aircraft and crews are being utilized to assist with transport.

Today, I recieved a briefing to prepare me to serve aboard various medivac flights. Andrews is the reception point for every single serviceman or woman wounded in Iraq as they fly in from Europe. From Andrews they transition to the medical treatment facility where they will recieve their more extensive care. Not only are our chaplains assisting on board the flights, but providing pastoral care during their hospital stay here.

For those of my readers who are brothers and sisters in the LCMS, one of the chaplains at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, which was very hard hit by Katrina, is an LCMS chaplain. I have yet to hear how he is, though reports from Keesler say that while they have major damage, they survived without casualties. Interesting story here which I quote in part.

"For the first time since Hurricane Katrina forced them into shelters, 6,000 people at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., ventured outside for a breath of fresh air. That was late in the day on Aug. 30, just after eating their first hot meal since the devastating hurricane nearly blew the base and that section of the Gulf Coast off the map."