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NEWS | Sept. 5, 2008

Team Lackland assists with Gustav relief efforts

Team Lackland supported Hurricane Gustav relief and evacuation efforts during Labor Day weekend, assisting with the evacuation of 247 special needs patients from Beaumont Saturday, processing more than 700 displaced evacuees and serving as a staging base for Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 6.

Five Texas Air National Guard C-130 Hercules from the 136th Airlift Wing at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth flew into Kelly Field Annex Saturday, safely delivering evacuees who were received by medical personnel at Lackland and transported to local area hospitals and shelters.

Brig. Gen. Len Patrick, 37th Training Wing commander, was happy with the hurricane relief efforts.

General Patrick explained that when a storm hits the Gulf Coast, Lackland's role is vitally important. All response forces are staged from San Antonio and then go down into that region, he said, adding that Lackland's proximity to the Gulf Coast gives them a lot of capability.

He also pointed out that the hurricane relief efforts were supported by all of Team Lackland, including the 59th Medical Wing, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. He expressed his appreciation to all of those playing a role in this humanitarian effort.

"We kicked off first with a number of activities to prevent the devastation of the past hurricanes in the gulf region," said the general. "The Air National Guard [flew] patients from East Texas where the potential flooding is great in their hospitals and their facilities. The Port of San Antonio and city of San Antonio accepted these patients and put them throughout the city.

"I'm very proud this is a Team Lackland event. There are many agencies on this installation. We are all playing in this humanitarian operation in one form or another. You can see on the faces of the men and women, all they want to do is help," General Patrick said.