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Congressional Record [.PDF]
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
2006 Ron Paul 41:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I would like to place in the RECORD, the following report submitted by Anthony Marcos, Command Senior Chief, Air Station Houston, Texas in recognition of the men and women of the United States Coast Guard in Texas who performed with great courage and made 723 rescues under very adverse circumstances during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
2006 Ron Paul 41:2
On the morning of 29 August, two HH65B helicopters from Air Station Houston arrived at Air Station New Orleans for post Hurricane Katrina operations. The arrival of these crews marked the beginning of an unprecedented period of search and rescue operations, and aviation engineering and logistical support by Air Station Houston.
2006 Ron Paul 41:3
For nearly two weeks, Air Station Houston provided a continuous complement of three HH65Bs affording uninterrupted support of Katrinas rescue/response operations. This support culminated in more than 164 flight hours, 106 sorties, and most importantly, 691 saved lives by Air Station Houston-based aircraft and crews.
2006 Ron Paul 41:4
Recognizing a critical need by rescue personnel for water, energy drinks, MREs and comfort items, Air Station Houston collected and shipped over 170,000 pounds of donated items on Coast Guard and DOD logistics flights for response personnel and the victims of Katrina.
2006 Ron Paul 41:5
Air Station Houston utilized valuable Coast Guard Auxiliary and other volunteer personnel in a vital information gathering effort by serving as a conduit between the Red Cross and Search and Rescue controllers for the forwarding of time-critical information on missing or evacuated Katrina victims and refugees stranded or relocated somewhere in the New Orleans area or out of state.
2006 Ron Paul 41:6
In addition to its legacy area of responsibility (AOR) Air Station Houston instituted a plan to relieve Air Station New Orleans of its non-Katrina SAR responsibilities west of the Mississippi River throughout the Katrina response effort, thereby increasing Houstons AOR by more than 18,000 square miles. With two aircraft and crews deployed to New Orleans, Air Station Houston crews responded to a report on 6 September of a civilian helicopter missing 20 miles south of Sabine, Texas. Although already engaged in nearly around-the-clock operations in New Orleans, Air Station Houstons outstanding readiness posture permitted two unit helicopters, manned by crews recently returned from Hurricane Katrina, to be launched in a search for the 12 persons reported aboard the overdue helicopter. All 12 persons were quickly located and then successfully recovered during this multi-unit case by the two Air Station Houston helicopters in a daring nighttime offshore rescue.
2006 Ron Paul 41:7
The possibility of a category five hurricane hitting the Houston-Galveston metropolitan area set in motion a massive response effort from the Coast Guard Area Commanders. Within 48 hours of Ritas early morning landfall on 24 September, over 125 contingency aircrew personnel along with 15 additional Coast Guard aircraft arrived at Air Station Houston to commence operations.
2006 Ron Paul 41:8
During the Houston-based response operation for Hurricane Rita, the Air Station coordinated over 61 missions and 123 sorties resulting in 205 mishap-free flight hours and the saving of 32 lives in a one week period. During this time, Air Station Houston also provided invaluable support to Gulf Coast based cutters including CGC Cypress, which allowed them to quickly fix the position of displaced waterway buoys, enabling the reopening of vital waterways and the free-flow of commerce in and out of the Gulf.