181st Intelligence Wing Launches First Ever Aerial Domestic Support Mission

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Frank Howard
  • 181st Intelligence Wing
The roar of the jets is long gone but Airmen from the 181st Intelligence Wing Indiana Air National Guard still stand watch for the Hoosiers of Indiana.

On February 21 2014 the 181st IW was tasked to conduct aerial operations for Operation Blue Sky at the request of Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

"The ice dams were moving downstream with the size and potential strength to damage bridges and other key infrastructure in their paths due to the historically heavy icing on the river this season," stated Jan Crider, IDHS. "Due to flooding in the area only an 'air picture' could provide this assessment."

The 181st IW along with the Civil Air Patrol launched an Aerial Collections Team sortie to conduct aerial assessment of flooding in Tippecanoe and Fulton Counties to provide IDHS an accurate assessment of the flooding.

"I am proud of how our Airmen responded to this historic tasking," stated Col. Patrick Renwick, 181st IW vice commander. "One of our primary missions is to assist the people of Indiana and this is just one of many ways we are prepared to support our community."

While airborne the team surveyed the ice jam causing the flooding, observed and reported a sport utility vehicle stranded in flood water and provided analysis of areas affected by the flooding.

"Our close working partnership with the Civil Air Patrol and our Wing's focus on disaster response can really make a difference when incident commanders respond to severe weather or disasters," stated Renwick.

"The Racers are critical to domestic response and dedicated to supporting the people of Indiana in whatever way we are tasked," stated Col. Donald Bonte, 181st IW commander. "While we hope disasters don't happen, we are here and ready whenever the State of Indiana requires our assistance."