Savannah-based Coast Guardsmen, helicopter pre-staged for Hurricane Sandy response

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSAVANNAH, Ga. – U.S. Coast Guard aircrews and helicopters from Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla., arrived in Elizabeth City, N.C., Monday night in preparation for Hurricane Sandy response along the northeastern coast of the U.S.

Pre-staging the aircraft and crews at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City will allow for faster response times following the storm’s landfall.

The Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, sent two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and two pilots.

Air Station Savannah sent a third Dolphin helicopter, four pilots and six crewmembers.

Additionally, Air Station Savannah Executive Officer Cmdr. David Cooper was selected to coordinate the Coast Guard’s aviation response for the storm and has headed north as well.

“As a service and as individual Coast Guardsmen, our nature is to help others in times of need, so I wasn’t surprised when so many of the crew here volunteered to help with the response” said Cmdr. Gregory Fuller, commanding officer of Air Station Savannah. “But it’s still humbling to see the selflessness of the people I work alongside every day.”

Even with the deployment of personnel and helicopters, both Air Station Savannah and HITRON remain fully mission-capable.

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