SERE Airmen help prevent flooding

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Over 25 Airmen from the 22nd Training Squadron and 66th Training Squadron, volunteered to help bag 45 tons of sand to help contain a water treatment area, May 19, 2018 in Cusick, Washington.

Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Airmen rely on the local community to conduct their daily mission away from Fairchild Air Force Base, in the Kanisku National Forrest, so Airmen returned the favor to support Cusick in the their time of need, said Senior Master Sgt. Brent Knight, 22nd TRS field training superintendent.

“The survival school has a long standing familiarity with the area, as the remote command post is nearby,” said Chief Master Sergeant James Kysar, 22nd TRS superintendent. “Air Force personnel interface frequently with town members while transiting to and from the training area.”

Cusick, Washington is located near the Pend Oreille River, which is being affected by the rapid snow melt in the nearby mountains. Because of this, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Washington Conservation Corps are supporting flood efforts by helping assess the highest risk areas in advance of an expected river rise.

“The support we were able to provide did not go unnoticed or underappreciated,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremiah DeFratis, 22nd TRS SERE specialist. “Not only did we strengthen Fairchild’s community ties, but we promoted the well-rounded capabilities and nature of the United States Air Force.”

Airmen had no hesitations about helping the local community members who were in need of emergency assistance. Airmen volunteered over a 6-hour period to construct a 400 meter containment wall around the water treatment area.

“Helping communities in time of need is crucial to developing trusting relationships with the local population,” said Master Sgt. Adam Gates, 22TRS flight chief, Charlie flight.

“These Airmen dedicated their weekend to those folks in need of emergency assistance and appreciated the hospitality of the townsfolk throughout the effort,” Kysar said.