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Helo squadron continues flood support
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- A UH-1N “Huey” helicopter retured to Minot Air Force Base March 27 for a crew swap before heading to Grand Forks, ND, to assist in flood relief efforts in the Fargo area. Two hoist-equipped Hueys from the 91st Missile Wing are part of an interagency task force providing search-and-rescue and support services in flood-affected areas of North Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Cass Jesse Lopez)
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Minot's helo squadron continues flood support

Posted 3/28/2009   Updated 3/28/2009 Email story   Print story


by Laurie Arellano
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

3/28/2009 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Two helicopters from the 54th Helicopter Squadron have been relocated from the Bismarck flood area to Grand Forks March 27, where they will perform search and rescue and other support missions in support of flood relief efforts along the Red River.

On March 25, the 91st Missile Wing sent two hoist-equipped UH-1N "hueys" to Bismarck, N.D., to assist with flood relief there as the Missouri River continued to rise. An ice jam added to the problems in that area, and the 54th HS'smembers were called upon to support efforts to break it up.

"We flew a total of about 10 hours in support of the demolition," said Senior Airman Timothy Merlin, 54th HS flight engineer. "We were transporting people to and from the ice jam and flying teams conducting video surveillance of the area."

As the situation in Bismarck stabilized, the two helicopters and crews were relocated to Grand Forks, N.D., where they are expected to perform search and rescue missions as the river there continues to rise. The helicopters are being moved to Grand Forks staging as part of a larger NORTHCOM task force.

"I'm glad the 91st Missile Wing has the capability to assist our North Dakota neighbors in their time of need. I'm proud of everyone's hard work that makes this team effort possible," said Col. Christopher Ayres, 91st MW commander.

While deployed to Grand Forks, the helicopters are a part a combined military and civilian effort to provide relief and services to the affected area.

"We are always ready to do whatever is needed," said Airman Merlin.

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