May 21, 2013 - Nearly 250 members of the
Oklahoma National Guard, as well as members of
Tinker Air Force Base are assisting with victim
search and security in Moore, Okla., where a
tornado left at least 51 dead, including 20
children, authorities said.
The twister hit Monday, May 20, about 3:15 p.m.
CDT, just three miles south of Tinker. Tinker
Air Force Base officials activated the 507th Air
Refueling Wing Crisis Action Team and initiated
accountability of all personnel assigned to the
"At this time, we are attempting to determine
the specific impact to our personnel, their
families and the local community," Col. Russell
Muncy, the 507th ARW commander, said in a press
release May 20.
Among National Guard members activated to assist
in relief efforts were Airmen from the 146th Air
Support Operations Squadron from nearby Will
Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City.
In a video interview, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Bird said
the unit members carry thermal imaging gear to
help locate those buried in rubble. "Hopefully,
we'll find survivors," Bird said.
Members also carried multi-band radios to
communicate with ground and aircraft crews, and
basic medical supplies, Bird said. "We're a
pretty new unit, so we haven't supported any
state emergencies." But Bird noted that many
squadron members are veterans who have supported
other disaster recovery operations when assigned
to other units.
According to Tinker public affairs, 12 base
firefighters and one safety officer were
dispatched immediately to assist rescue efforts
in the Moore area, and one surgeon was
dispatched to the Oklahoma University Medical