Coast Guard forward operating base established for Hurricane Matthew response

Air Station Savannah crews ready two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters for flights Oct. 8, 2016 on the air station’s tarmac. Coast Guard crews are utilizing Hunter Army Airfield as a forward operating base for Hurricane Matthew response efforts. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher M. Yaw/D7 External Affairs PADET Jacksonville

Air Station Savannah crews ready two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters for flights Oct. 8, 2016 on the air station’s tarmac. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher M. Yaw

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Coast Guard aircrews from around the country are staged Saturday at Hunter Army Airfield, which is serving as a forward operating base for the Coast Guard’s response efforts following Hurricane Matthew.

The Army has opened the airfield and its facilities to the Coast Guard as part of the unified effort.

“The support we’ve received from Lt. Col. Squires and the Hunter Army Air Field Garrison command team has been phenomenal,” said Cmdr. J. Marshall Branch, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Savannah. “Through their support to the interagency in response to the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, Hunter Army Air Field has assumed a leadership role in protecting our citizens here in the Low Country in addition to their support of our operations abroad.”

Fourteen additional Coast Guard aircraft from air stations throughout the country are operating out of Hunter Army Airfield. The aircrews are positioned to provide search and rescue assistance and to conduct shoreline and port damage assessments.  This information is used by Coast Guard commanders to consider the reopening of area ports and waterways.

For information on Hurricane Matthew’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.

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