Members of 193rd Special Operations Wing deployed for Harvey recovery work

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 29, 2017 1:07 PM

Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Wing's Aerial Port ensures the equipment being loaded on a C-130J Hercules is loaded safely today. (Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard).

(Harrisburg) -- Six airmen skilled in securing and re-establishing cellphone and satellite communications are on their way to help with Tropical Storm Harvey recovery in the Houston area.

The Wolf administration says the members of the 193rd Special Operations Wing departed on a C-130 transport plane for Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.

They're based at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Dauphin County.

"The 193rd Special Operations Wing has extensive experience with this type of mission and we are happy to assist our sister states when disaster strikes," Major General Tony Carrelli, the state's adjutant general said in a statement.

It's not known how long the team will be helping out in Texas after being activated by the National Guard Bureau.

"These airmen are part of a unique mobile communications team that will assist Texas with securing and reestablishing any downed satellite or cell phone communications systems needed for recovery efforts," said Governor Wolf. "We wish them a safe journey as they represent Pennsylvania in assisting with the disaster in Texas. Pennsylvania is ready and willing to offer any support needs for those affected by this historic natural disaster. Our hearts go out to residents, law enforcement, responders, National Guard, PA Task Force 1 team members, and all others affected and involved."

The unit maintains the military's only airborne radio and television broadcast mission and is among the Air National Guard's most frequently deployed wing.

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