On 28 September, the Pennsylvania National Guard finally returned home from its Hurricane Florence relief mission.
The service, along with its partner the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, flew to McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina, on 13 September, bringing two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to help with rescue efforts in the region.
Over the course of their deployment, the CH-47 Chinook helicopter crews flew nine missions, totalling more than 20 hours, while the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crews flew 13 missions, totalling more than 50 hours.
After the hurricane passed, the teams set out on SAR missions, trying to rescue those who were still trapped in flood water. The high waters were still causing problems in areas in South Carolina for a week after the storm passed.
“I am proud of my crew’s professionalism during the rescue,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Keith Hogan, pilot-in-command of that crew. “We go through extensive training with our partners in PA-HART and the training resulted in a successful evacuation of those two flood survivors.”
National Guard contingents from Alaska, Tennessee, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, Arkansas, Virginia, Georgia and Mississippi also supported relief efforts in South Carolina.
“The Pennsylvania National Guard is always ready to respond to relief missions like this one,” said Maj. Trevor Patrick, officer-in-charge of the Pennsylvania National Guard task force in South Carolina. This task force worked very well with the other National Guard members here, as well as civilian agencies. Our thoughts remain with the people of South Carolina as they rebuild, and we hope our actions helped them in that effort.”