Pentagon chips in for Sandy relief – CBS News

The Defense Department says it is flying 17 aircraft from California to New York loaded with power generation equipment and crews to help restore power to the millions of homes and businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The airlift is one part of several efforts the Pentagon says it is making to support Sandy relief efforts.

The Pentagon says the utility equipment is being provided by southern California power companies, including Con Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The equipment includes 10 double bucket trucks, nearly 20 pick-up trucks, and a number of other trucks and equipment, as well as a mobile command center. It will arrive at the air guard base at Stewart International Airport Thursday afternoon.

Pentagon chips in for Sandy relief - CBS News

via Pentagon chips in for Sandy relief – CBS News.

Our buddy Phat at H2 works for Air Mobility Command, and has been busy scheduling the particular flights.

Why fly all the way from Cali to NJ? It’s purely speculation on my part, but I’m guessing with current weather patterns, Edison is one of the few companies with excess repair capacity right now. Folks closer to the East Coast either are needed at home, or it was faster for them to simply drive to the scene.

In any event, it’s pretty weird to see non-military trucks drive onto a C-5.  And even though March AFB isn’t but a hop, skip and a jump from here, I’m irked that their departures take them too far north of here for me to do any plane spotting.

6 thoughts on “Pentagon chips in for Sandy relief – CBS News”

  1. Xbrad, thanks for posting this!

    My first thought when I heard what we going to load was, “Has any of this civilian stuff ever been certified for air transport?’

    The ATTLA cert is a laborious process that specifies max axle weight of vehicles, whether you need plywood shoring to distribute load weight, how much fuel has to be drained from the tanks, etc.

    I brought this up to the O-6 and he just laughed and said, ” I’m pretty sure the waiver authority for that is on site.”

    i had forgotten that the annual Airlift/Tanker Association convention was in LA this week. Gen Ray Johns, AMC/CC drove over from the convention to March ARB to ”supervise’ the onload.

    Lots of magic fairy dust being thrown on this mission.

    1. That’s a fine gig, getting the waiver, right up until an accident investigation gets convened! Yes, it’s probably a fairly low risk. But given the small size of the strategic airlift fleet, and the fact that those risk mitigation procedures were written in blood, why dispense with them?

      I didn’t write about it, but wondered if the reason SCE had been chosen was if there was prior disaster planning conducted. If AMC hasn’t worked with utilities and other agencies and utilities to pre-clear some of this stuff for flight or other logistical endeavors, maybe that would be a good idea to toss in the “lesson’s learned” pile.

    2. That’s a fine gig, getting the waiver, right up until an accident investigation gets convened! Yes, it’s probably a fairly low risk. But given the small size of the strategic airlift fleet, and the fact that those risk mitigation procedures were written in blood, why dispense with them?

      I didn’t write about it, but wondered if the reason SCE had been chosen was if there was prior disaster planning conducted. If AMC hasn’t worked with utilities and other agencies and utilities to pre-clear some of this stuff for flight or other logistical endeavors, maybe that would be a good idea to toss in the “lesson’s learned” pile.

  2. Xbrad,
    It’s just a technicality. If it rolls on tires and we have an accurate weight it’s good to go. Things on treads are a different story.

    Some of the more ‘persnickety’ load masters sometimes like to point out at the very last minute that we have no ATTLA cert for a specific piece of rolling stock and therefore we can’t take it until that’s done.

    Odd how that always seems to happen at Rota, Spain and never at Kandahar. It’s a puzzler.

  3. My office window overlooks I-95 just south of Petersburg, VA. I have been seeing a steady stream of utility truck convoys rolling north from the SE. 2 miles north is the merge of I-85…saw an Alabama Power & Light and a Duke Energy convoys back to back rolling north.

    This is not an unusual occurrence…just a little later than normal for hurricanes and a little earlier than normal for snow & ice storms.

  4. I heard from our mayor on the radio today that several Seattle City Light crews were flown out of McCord.

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