Personnel from across the Defense Department have been hard at work since Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida on Oct. 12.
At least 29 people died in the storm as it made its way up the East Coast, and estimates put damage and recovery costs into the billions. More than 5,000 DOD personnel are mobilized to deliver power, water, food and other assistance to people in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.
Disaster recovery experts, including Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard personnel, have traditionally surveyed storm damage from the ground, sea and air. But unmanned aircraft piloted by service members like Air Force Senior Airman Austin Klewicki are adding a new level of detail to those surveys.
“Damaged roofs, collapsed buildings and anything we can get [to] help [the] guys on the ground [to] try to secure the surrounding area,” Klewicki said. “Whatever I can do to help; that is all I can ask for.”