RENO, Nev. – More than a dozen Airmen from the 152nd Airlift Wing were activated March 13 to assist in ongoing flood response in Lemmon Valley, a neighborhood about 15 miles north of Reno.
Airmen from the 152nd Security Forces Squadron, and 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron at the 152nd Airlift Wing here were activated as part of a request from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, and assisted the community in the aftermath of the flooding by performing missions specific to their squadrons.
About a dozen Airmen from the 152nd Security Forces Squadron provided access control in neighborhoods affected by the flooding to ensure protection from potential looting.
As of Monday, the number of Guard personnel on flood response has risen to 54, according to figures from the National Guard Bureau.
"We were given some addresses that are allowed in and some that are not," said Senior Airman David Bowman, a security forces specialist with the squadron. "We're just trying to be polite, and trying to explain the situation."
Bowman said he was activated during the 2016 Little Valley Fire in Nevada and performed a similar mission to the one in Lemmon Valley.
"It feels good serving the community and the country at the same time," Bowman said. "It's good to see the smile on peoples' faces when they know we're trying to keep them safe."
Four Airmen assigned to the 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron were tasked to help several agencies, including the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and Nevada Division of Forestry, construct a five-mile long HESCO® wall for residential protection from the expected snowmelt.
"They're doing a great job," said Senior Master Sgt. James Lindsay, operations superintendent assigned to the 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron. "It's a lot of good training for them, but it's also helping the community, so it's a win-win for both of us."
A HESCO® wall is a four-foot high barrier that is filled with sand. The barriers have been successful in the past when they were for used for emergency relief efforts for hurricanes and tropical storms.
Equipment from the 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron is also being used to build the barriers, including two skid steers, a Bobcat, a loader and a dump truck.
Additionally, more than 120 Soldiers from the Nevada Army National Guard provided sandbag transportation for hundreds of homes in the region.
Regions east and west of the Sierra Nevada range experienced a precipitation record this winter; some areas east of the range in Nevada have already seen records shattered for a rain year, measured annually from October through September.
Flood response is expected to continue into the summer months with more than 300 homes potentially impacted and water levels expected to rise another 3 feet as snow melt continues.