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New York Air National Guard Rescue Wing assists with St. Maarten evacuations

By Capt. Michael O'Hagan | New York National Guard | Sept. 10, 2017

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Members of the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing assist in the evacuation of stranded American citizens from Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten, Sept. 8, 2017. The rescue wing, staging out of San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Puerto Rica Air National Guard’s 156th Airlift Wing, provided rescue support to those requiring urgent medical care following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

The 106th brought out more than 500 evacuees from St. Maarten using two HC-130 aircraft on September 8, flying nearly 12 hours between the two aircraft.

The coordinated effort between the Department of State and Department of Defense evacuated 1,172 Americans and 35 other foreign nationals from St. Maarten with the 106th prior to the arrival of Hurricane Jose.

The wing deployed some 130 Airmen, along with three HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and the two HC-130 Search and Rescue aircraft as part of the Hurricane Irma response on Sept.7, 2017.

More than half of the element previously deployed to Texas just days earlier for the Hurricane Harvey response force.