New Orleans

mudkow60

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Now that things are set up, the military and many other folks(Coast Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Navy, Customs, Marines, Air Force, Police from around the US, fire fighting helos, and many many others) are doing a great job in New Orleans. I even saw an MI-8 there. I was proud to be a helo pilot and my limited time there was the best I have spent in the Navy.
 

dtfl

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The Mi 8 might have been from Hurlburt? There is one on loan there.
 

C-150ETOPS

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mudkow60 said:
Now that things are set up......

First, my hats off too you and the rest, you have my admiration and support.



I do wonder why it took days for certain parts of the operation to ramp up like rescues, water and MRE drops to occur in significant numbers. Were they there or did it take too long for the CH47's/-46s/UH-60's etc that are based throughout the southeast to show up in significant numbers? There are also enough reports of empty ramps at MSY and the NOAA pics show light activity at NAS N.O.
Where was the airlift when people were dying at MSY, or looking for help in other areas? (I know the USCG was there)

The CNN guy at MSY hit the AMC Lt Col with some good questions about the operation. The LC went on about cargo airlift and passenger charters that they were running. The CNN guy raised the BS fla, saying not much was happening and pax charters weren't there (at that time). The LC also seemed shocked when asked about evacuating people on AMC flights after they delivered their loads. He said it would be like putting them in the back of a semi trailer. (So F-ing what? I thought to myself, get them out of there). How many C-130's and C-17's were within 4 hours flightime range?


Again, thanks for your efforts and this little rant is small potatoes. I also understand the logistics of heavy equipment/command centers/crew lodging. It is also a huge task supporting operations. I know that many units are overseas, and those at home may have many birds down for overhaul, so that would cut into availability. It is a monumental task and it looks like the job is now getting done.

Stay safe
 

Mamma

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I did not hear the Lt Col remarks, but if true, he sure is a piece of work! "Its like putting them in a semi-trailer." WTFO! That's how many of the troops get over to war, training, and exercises....in the back of airlift!!! That's how we go when we deadhead all around the freaking world! That is how the SecDef and all of the DC cronies get around Iraq and Afghanistan! If I were given the choice I would glady jump in the back of a C-17 and fly on up to McChord and enjoy Seattle for the next 8 months. It is a nice ride! I have to say I am truly embarrassed when folks like this Lt Col speak for the rest of us. What an idiot.
 

pilot141

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You guys realize of course that there has to be something/someone to greet and take care of these people when they arrive, right?

My guess is that the strat airlift was being used to bring stuff IN, and tac/helo airlift was being used to take people out. Saying "Look, an empty C-17!" is worthless, especially if the answer is "It's going to NAS China Lake to pick up some water purifiers."

"But these people need to be evacuated!!!" screams the reporter....OK, if they want to go to the Nevada desert where no one is expecting them and with no supplies..hop on board!

I think that the LTC was ill-prepared to get hit full-face with reporters (no excuse), but it doesn't mean that there wasn't an overall plan in place. Not every aircraft leaving New Orleans is going someplace that people want to be...
 

doug_or

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pilot141 said:
Not every aircraft leaving New Orleans is going someplace that people want to be...

If the destination is not N.O....
 

TonyC

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Mamma said:
I did not hear the Lt Col remarks, but if true, he sure is a piece of work! "Its like putting them in a semi-trailer." WTFO! That's how many of the troops get over to war, training, and exercises....in the back of airlift!!!
How long does it take to reconfigure the airplane from an all-cargo (pallets, roll-ons, whatever) configuration to a passenger configuration? Did these airplanes have that much time scheduled on the ground, or was it a stop, drop, and roll?

Our troops do not get to war sitting on the floor. They sit in seats, and they use seat belts and shoulder harnesses. It's NOT like a semi-trailer. Can you imagine the outcry were a C-130 crammed like a cattle-car with refugees to crash on take-off, with bodies spilling out everywhere?

How could the airplanes' utility be maximized? Sometimes it's easy to condemn what you see because of what you cannot see and do not know. Perhaps we should be a little slower to judge the veracity of the LTC's statement.


Just some thoughts.




.
 

AlbieF15

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What Tony meant to say was "Shut the **$& up" when you don't know what you are talking about.

Just got out of an AOC after a long night shift watching hundreds of people trying to coordinate and facilitate the help. Lots of people are doing the best they can right now. If you are so convinced some LTC is gooning it up then beat feet down to your local ANG recruiter and sign up and perhaps you can help and do a better job. I certainly don't enjoy working the graveyard shift here right now--maybe you can come fill in for me (or one of the many guys working a lot harder than I am!) that are trying to bring some order to all this chaos. If you can't do that then perhaps you can join a charitable group providing comfort in your local area. If you are watching TV with a cold beer on your coach and surfing the internet describing how stupid all these rescue/military/civil defense folks are who are out there trying to do something, then I have absolutely nothing for you.
 
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Tim47SIP

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Get a grip!

The problem is not with the Mil response, but rather the First Responders that the NO Mayor and the Gov of LA SHOULD have organized, and wasnt. They had NO plan! The Mayor sent 20,000 people into the Dome with NO water or food supplies knowing fully that the water supply and power would be lost even wothout the flood!!!

We couldnt get in to the NO area untill the wind was less that 50 KIAS or so. The Coast Guard was in there by Monday evening with 50 KIAS wind and several 47's and 60's were deployed and on sight by Tuesday MORNING! By Tuesday afternoon, there were over 40 military aircraft on sight. By Wednesday there were deployment orders for several thousand people and the first supplies started to arrive. It was not the military!

There should have been water and staples stockpiled for such a disaster and the 100 or so busses should have been put on high ground to help in the evacuation. You cant have FEMA or the MIL pre position millions of tons of supplies in the eye of the disaster. You have to move the stuff and mil equipment out of the area to save it so it can be used later. This arm chair quarterbacking is out of control.
 

Mamma

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What I was trying to say is the Lt Col's remarks were B.S. about the inadequacy of a C-17 being able to take refugees out. I was not saying they should cram C-17s/C130s full of folks trying to get out and just take them anywhere. Albie, get some sleep.
 

RampFreeze

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AlbieF15's comments are right on target! In a previous life I worked in an Ops Center just like Albie F15 is talking about (after a different disaster.) One of the loads we were working was to move a civilian fire department's urban search and rescue equipment half way around the world. The fire department told us that they could absolutely "guarantee" that their load would be 110,000 lbs of vehicles and equipment. We literally threw the mission together as the fire department was driving, lights and sirens blaring, to the nearest AFB. When they showed up they had 190,000 lbs of vehicles and equipment. (they decided to throw in a bunch of "nice to have" equipment) We loaded what we could into the planned C-5 and launched it ASAP and then pulled a miracle out of our a$$es to launch an alert C-5 from a nearby base to come and pick up the overflow. The alert C-5 took about 3 hours to get to the place where the overflow people/equipment/etc were waiting. (unbelivably fast timing based on the situation) Waiting with the overflow people/equipment was a Washington Post reporter who interviewed the overflow firemen waiting for the extra C-5. Guess what quote made the Washington Post the next day - (fireman to reporter) "I don't know what the deal is, we got here as fast as we could with lights and sirens. The Air Force just wasn't ready."

Bottom line, hold onto your comments until you've walked a mile in their shoes. Never confuse what you see/read in the media with the truth.
 

Twasilew

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I'll say I'm a little pi$sed off that things were so F'd up in the beginning. There is absolutely no reason why babies were starving at the superdome and convention center up until day 6. Why the hell could we not get food and water to people in the city when the media could easily drive in and out. This is what really ticked me off.
On day two we sent an empty Herk from OK city to Andrews. When they arrived, their cargo was one pallet, 1800 lbs, which consisted of two air conditioners. When they finally got to MSY, the unloaders looked at them like they had their heads on backwards. Who is the idiot that fragged this mission!!! What a waste of time and resources in these critical days.
I know everyone is working their ass off right now and I applaud you 100%. All I am saying is, when things finally slow down, and order is restored, people need to be held accountable for the breakdown in leadership so this $hit does not happen again. My heart hurts when I see Americans in such pain when I know we can do better.

OK as you can see I'm also a little pi$sed and overstressed right now, not to mention the upcoming deployment to the AOR in 3 weeks. However, I am looking forward to tomorrows mission back to MSY so I can help in any way. Maybe I'll post again when I calm down a bit.

God bless all those who are making a difference down there.
 

RampFreeze

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Were the Air Conditioners useless cargo? Maybe. Or, maybe they were a high priority delivery for a medical function that can't be evac'd or to cool electronics at a vital communications node. My point is that the only people who know are the ones in the command and control centers (the guys who would rather be flying an airplane instead of "piloting" a nifty telephone) who have the big picture, use the airlift priority system and separate the wheat from the chaff. The operators, aerial port guys, etc. are simply hauling the mail. The importance of each load is determined somewhere else and will probably never be readily apparent to those on the ramp. That's why we don't cut our own frags...
 

SUNDOWN

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AlbieF15 said:
What Tony meant to say was "Shut the **$& up" when you don't know what you are talking about.

.
A bit strong huh ALBIE. So we are not suppose to comment or wonder about anything we see on the news unless we are involved in it ( medical reform, etc). I don't think he was off base at all, he was just curious. He totally prefaced his remarks in his statement. Relax dude, your comments are usually insightful, that was totally out of line.

Thanks to all you guys and gals out there making a difference and saving lives.
 
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TonyC

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SUNDOWN said:
A bit strong huh ALBIE. So we are not suppose to comment or wonder about anything we see on the news unless we are involved in it ( medical reform, etc). I don't think he was off base at all, he was just curious. He totally prefaced his remarks in his statement.

Reread Mamma's post:
Mamma said:
I did not hear the Lt Col remarks, but if true, he sure is a piece of work! ... WTFO!
That doesn't sound like "just curious" to me. And if there was a preface, I missed that, too. He condemned the guy, and he admitted he hadn't even heard the guy's remarks. Go figger.


Maybe it's just the internet thing.


:confused:







.
 

Mamma

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Look guys...relax a bit. How about this....I went overboard and I am sorry. Does that work for you? We are all sounding just like our idiot politicians playing the blame game and getting off track while a catastrophe is going on. How about putting a post or two worth a damn on here instead of hashing over the wording of a post? All I was saying is that I was upset at the time when all these people were stranded/dying and the AMC spokesperson came out and said they cannot help them with airlift because it was uncomfortable. From the post I got the info from, the Lt Col did not go into the fact that the aircraft are busy doing other things or other resources were being used for this task...he just told the media that the aircraft were uncomfortable. That is bung and he should know better. But, I am sorry for my comments and hope all you "offended" folks could forgive me and move on!

Cheers.
 

TonyC

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Mamma said:
I did not hear the Lt Col remarks, ... What an idiot.
Mamma said:
...he just told the media that the aircraft were uncomfortable. That is bung and he should know better.


He didn't say they were uncomfortable.

Which is it? You're retracting what you said and you're sorry, or you're standing by what you said and you want us to forget about it?



Either way, I'm movin' on.





.
 

SIG600

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To all those critisizing the military response (non mil types), first educate yourselves on the logistical nightmare of getting a massive effort like this rolling with zero notice. Not to point fingers, but the local politicians, govenor, etc. had NO plan worked out before hand for this situation, which has been studied ad naseum for YEARS as a "worst case scenario."

ANYWAY, we had an AOM on Friday morning and were briefed as to the role our installation (Meridian NAS, in Meridian MS about 2.5 hours north of N.O.) was playing in the relief effort. Mind you Meridian is a SMALL training base, and our flight line is smaller than most municipal airports. That said here's what was briefed to us, and what I saw last Friday...

Half our flight line is packed with 18 wheelers. About 200 Fri morning, supposedly to be 450+ soon. The base has become a staging area for supplies, and a base for FEMA and supposedly the 4 star heading up the JTF will be setting up shop too.

Half our maint. hangar has been cleared out and cleaned spotless. It's being turned into a 1000 bed MASH hospital. Anyone that knows the base, the old T-2 simulator bay is being turned into a surgery ward.

6 blackhawks are setting up shop, and a C-2 det is supposedly on the way for shutteling casualties from N.O. to NMM... a large section of the ramp has been alloted for C-5 and C-17 loading/off loading. Base housing is supposed to be occupied to full capacity to accomodate families from the USCG station down there, and Navy Pascagoula.

There's also rumor of a 13,000 person tent city going up on the ramp. So far every rumor that we've heard has come true so I'm not doubting that this will actually happen.

This morning the place was a zoo, and all the jets were packed at the south end of the ramp, and as of today we're gonna be up and running among the midst of all of this. Should make for an interesting few months... there was talk of a possible 30,000 bed tent city but their thinking that will be going to Jackson.
 
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ArcherII

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I am currently deployed to NAS New Orleans unloading inbound aircraft. Things are pretty hectic but are running pretty smooth. Shoot me some questions if you have any. I am happy to be here supporting the relief and would love to let you guys know what is going on.
 

peter185

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Archer II how do you like being in the TX ANG? I hear you guys are a bunch of cool dudes doing great work down there, I just hope that you are talking about something besides aviation.
 
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