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News

446th AW supports Travis AFB Airmen following evacuation

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mary Andom
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Reserve Citizen Airmen assigned to the 446th Force Support Squadron here provided meals to Travis Air Force Base Airmen evacuated due to devastating wildfires Aug. 19, 2020.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord received Travis AFB C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and support personnel in the late and early hours, following the LNU Lightning Complex Fire near Fairfield and Vacaville, California.

Tech. Sgt. Kanphirom Kananin, a 446th Force Support Squadron fitness program manager and Olympic Dining Facility shift lead, was working the night shift when she received a phone call requesting flight meals for Travis Airmen evacuating to JBLM. 

Kananin and her four-member team jumped into action; within an hour and a half they prepared 60 flight meals. 

“The crew was very appreciative and grateful for our efforts,” Kananin said. “For our Airmen, it was an eye-opening experience to see how their efforts can impact the Air Force as a whole.”

Chief Master Sgt. Norman D. Hurley, the 62nd Operations Group superintendent, thanked the 446th and 62nd FSS for their efforts in an email. 

“Your Flight Kitchen Airmen put together 60 meals last night in less than an hour and a half,” said Hurley.  “I cannot tell you how much this meant to our brothers and sisters at Travis as they were simply “wowed” by the tip top support they received.”

Meanwhile, the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, JBLM’s only AE squadron, also offered support to Travis’ AE personnel. The medical Reserve Citizen Airmen prepared their space to share with the Travis team as well as provided flight line and office orientations. 

“We only met their ADVON (advanced team), and were prepared to offer whatever support they needed,” said Chief Master Sgt. Saudi McVea, 446th AES superintendent. “We provided flight line orientation, supplemental liquid oxygen, or LOX, system locations, our vehicles, and office space, if needed.”  

When Travis AFB announced mandatory evacuation, 446th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Paul Skipworth said, "It is heartbreaking to see the devastation from the wildfires in California. I know it has to be hard for our friends from Travis AFB as they leave loved ones behind to continue with their mission. We are especially thinking of their families and friends. We will assist however we can."

And, that is exactly what the 446th did alongside their active-duty partner, 62nd Airlift Wing. 

On Aug. 21, Col. Corey Simmons, the 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Travis AFB allowing families to return to their homes on the installation. The aircraft returned to Travis on Aug. 23.