As President’s Day approached, so did extreme winter climate at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 14. Winter storm warnings have been issued as northerly winds at 10 to twenty knots and bitter chilly fell upon the area, resulting in intensive energy and water outages, slick roads and burst pipes.
All through the extreme climate occasion, JBSA leaders adopted the Metropolis of San Antonio Emergency Operations Middle by way of their climate webinars to find out the most effective programs of motion and to align what the town was doing in response to the unfolding scenario.
Earlier than the arrival of the Artic blast, members of the 341st Navy Working Canine Coaching Squadron rapidly ready to maneuver greater than 800 navy working canines indoors to guard them from the weather.
Personnel from the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Equestrian Middle additionally remained on website as wanted all through the storm to make sure the horses and mules had enough shelter, water and meals.
By Monday, situations had deteriorated drastically, resulting in the closure of all JBSA areas besides to emergency important personnel. Roads iced and people with energy now fell sufferer to rolling outages lasting from minutes to hours to days.
“The security of all JBSA personnel continues to be my #1 concern,” stated Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, in her messages to the group all through the week. “A climate occasion of this magnitude is unprecedented in San Antonio, and our emergency crews are working laborious to revive providers in any respect JBSA areas.”
Because the storm continued, Outside Recreation personnel on JBSA responded to a name from FAMCAMP patrons at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and Canyon Lake Recreation Space for a lot wanted propane tank refills on the coldest of days, guaranteeing these personnel had what they wanted to climate the storm, stated Brian Roush, 502nd Drive Help Squadron govt director.
“Canyon Lake employees members additionally remained on website over a number of days to make sure the protection of company and opened vacant services for shelter when leisure autos couldn’t sustain with temperatures,” he stated.
Health Middle personnel on JBSA additionally braved the chilly situations to open health facilities for warming facilities and scorching bathe services for JBSA personnel, Roush stated.
“Baby and Youth Companies personnel additionally labored through the closure to scrub up broken services, put together alternate services, and safe provides so as to have the ability to reopen the Baby Growth Facilities and Faculty Age Applications on Feb. 22,” he stated.
All through the snowstorm, the 502nd Operational Help Squadron’s climate personnel continued to watch the scenario day and evening, reporting developments.
“The 502nd OSS had already normalized undertaking work from geographically separated areas as a result of COVID-19,” stated Lt. Col. Yancey Walker, the squadron’s commander. “Due to this adaptation, we have been capable of cross important data, in close to actual time, in regards to the standing of the airfield and its techniques each internally and externally, all with out placing our Airmen in danger within the hazardous situations”
By Wednesday, some JBSA Commissaries and Exchanges have been capable of open to base residents to offer wanted meals and provides, however Thursday, snow started to fall once more, and continued to fall for almost 15 hours, forcing many roads and overpasses to grow to be impassible once more.
At the moment, JBSA hearth stations started offering potable water to base residents who have been with out as a result of frozen pipes, in addition to to native hospitals with out water.
“JBSA Fireplace Emergency Companies locations big worth on the relationships with our mutual help companions and native municipalities,” stated Mark R. Ledford, JBSA hearth chief. “Having the ability to offer water tender help for medical services was a problem that our workforce tackled, they usually stay prepared to help as wanted for this important help.”
The chief stated, even with all the things occurring on JBSA, in addition they have been capable of help native hearth crews responding to an enormous house hearth locally.
“We really feel horrible for the lack of property through the hearth, however have been capable of rally personnel and sources from throughout the set up to help. An engine firm and water tender responded from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, a young responded from JBSA-Randolph, and personnel rapidly moved from JBSA-Lackland to reinforce staffing,” Ledford stated. “It was precisely how we’re postured to help our companions whereas offering superior safety for this wonderful wing and mission companions throughout an extremely difficult week.”
Personnel at Brooke Military Medical Middle additionally launched into motion to make sure continuity of affected person care. All non-urgent medical appointments and procedures have been canceled to make sure emergency providers and trauma help to the town remained unaffected at some point of the extreme climate occasion.
“As a Stage I Trauma Middle, it’s vital that we preserve our important care mission and help to our group companions, whereas guaranteeing the protection and well-being of our service members, sufferers and employees,” stated BAMC’s commander, Brig. Gen. Shan Okay. Bagby.
The 502nd Civil Engineers at JBSA have been busy all week, sustaining base roads and treating them with sand so those that wanted to journey may.
Members of the 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron have been additionally laborious at work all through the storms, persevering with 24-hour emergency operations and distributing chilly climate gear and sleeping baggage to these with out energy or figuring out within the components.
The squadron kicked into excessive gear when the Del Rio, Texas, water plant was pressured to modify to generator energy.
The 502nd LRS’s Automobile Administration flight rapidly ready two water buffalo, with help from personnel from the 502nd Civil Engineering Squadron and Bioenvironmental, who cleaned and sanitized the water tanks, offering potable water in help of two,000 personnel affected by the water scarcity at Laughlin Air Drive Base, in response to Lt. Col. Glen Langdon, 502nd LRS commander.
In the meantime, the squadron’s Passenger Motion Aspect labored to regulate transportation for 645 departing JBSA college students and coordinating arrivals for the coaching wings.
On Friday, the thirty seventh Coaching Wing at JBSA-Lackland labored to make sure Fundamental Navy Trainees weren’t delayed of their coaching and proceeded with three modified BMT commencement ceremonies.
When the extreme climate started, coaching wing personnel labored with their JBSA companions to offer supplemental warmth, bottled water, meals, blankets, further clothes and moveable services as wanted to make sure the protection and well being of the coed, trainee and navy working canine populations.
“Our primary precedence is, and can proceed to be, the protection and well-being of all these assigned to the thirty seventh Coaching Wing — each our everlasting social gathering and college students in coaching,” stated Col. Rockie Okay. Wilson, thirty seventh Coaching Wing commander. “We adjusted mission operations as required to take care of the integrity of the coaching pipeline; and we’re working hand-in-hand with our JBSA mission companions to handle points as rapidly as they come up. Our skill to work with our companions within the 502nd Air Base Wing additionally demonstrates the collective power of our JBSA-wide workforce.”