188th Wing Departing to St. Thomas for Hurricane Relief


Hurricane Irma devastated the island of St. Thomas and forty-thousand people are still without homes. 

188th Wing in Fort Smith is familiar with helping with disaster relief. 

Their next mission is to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with the destruction from Hurricane Irma. 

Five different Air National Guard units from across the country arrived today in the River Valley to load up disaster relief beddown sets.

Their purpose is to create a mobile relief community holding up to one hundred and fifty people per unit. 

“It has your shower, shave, laundry, latrine so it is a self sufficient package so we can send our troops in there and then take care of whatever they need to do Chief Sgt. Gary Shelton, 188th Wing Air National Guard said.”

The sets are not alone.

Twenty six skillfully trained 188th members will travel from Fort Smith to St. Thomas. 

“We have civil engineers, structural engineers, heavy equipment operators, plumbers, electricians,” Vice Commander Leon Dodroe, 188th Wing, Air National Guard said. “They are providing a multitude of functions, not only technical but the removal of debris. “

The wing says they are prepared to do everything they can to help our citizens. 

“We do not want to be an impact on the community we are trying to help,” Vice Commander Leon Dodre said. “We want to do everything we can to support the people that were impacted by the disaster and help our fellow Americans.”

The wing plans to keep their personal on the mission for a minimim of thirty days. 

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