Oregon Air National Guard, Coast Guard sending help to Texas

PORTLAND, Ore. — About 15 members of the The Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron will fly to Texas Monday to aid in humanitarian efforts for those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

They left Portland Air National Guard Base Monday afternoon in a C-130 Hercules aircraft and fly to Robert Gray Army Airfield in Texas.

The group traveling to Texas consists of two teams and a command element, comprised of Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen.

The team will assist in two missions. The first mission is to restore airfields that are inaccessible or unusable. The second mission, using Zodiac boats and Humvees, will assist in rescue operations.

“We are here ready to support state local civilian authorities but also ready to fight our wars abroad, so when we have the opportunity to help other Americans here at home these guys and gals just jump at the chance they love to do it. I’m quite proud of them,” said Colonel Duke Pirak, 142nd fighter wing commander.

In addition, Special Tactics Airmen will assist with helicopter hoisting rescues as needed.

Coast Guard sending Oregon, Washington units to Texas: The Coast Guard was deployed units from Oregon and Washington to assists in Harvey relief efforts in Texas.

Personnel from Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Oregon; Air Station Port Angeles, Sector Puget Sound and the 13th District have been deployed in response to the storm.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter has been deployed from Sector Columbia River to Air Station San Diego to help cover Coast Guard missions. San Diego aircraft have been deployed to Texas.

Additional personnel from the Pacific Northwest are on standby to provide support if necessary.

The Coast Guard has 20 helicopters conducting rescue operations currently, along with ground and water crews. They have rescued more than 1,450 people so far.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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