Osan Airmen support Guam’s Typhoon Mawar recovery

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Aaron Edwards
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Three Airmen from the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) helped prepare, sustain and recover Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Typhoon Mawar May 22 to June 5, 2023.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mark Eastman, 51st LRS fuels distribution non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC); Staff Sgt. Lucas Amodeo, 51st LRS fuels mobile distribution supervisor and Staff Sgt. Angel Rebollar, 51st LRS fuels laboratory NCOIC, TDY at Andersen to supplement the 36th LRS in operations when news of the incoming typhoon arose. The team shifted their focus to help the 36th LRS secure 60 million gallons of fuel and 30 refueling assets - protecting $245 million supplies from the storm.

“We played key roles in the bed down prep for the vehicles and buildings by filling sandbags and positioning them accordingly at all of the petroleum, oil and lubricant facilities,” said Amodeo. “I have former experience with storm prep for trucks and assets from my time stationed at Offutt AFB, Nebraska and in running storm prep for tornadoes.

“Ratcheting down truck compartments and positioning them in storm configuration wasn’t anything new to me,” he added. “This all helped minimize damage sustained to our buildings and assets out there, but we weren’t able to save them all.”

With the additional help of the Osan Airmen, out of all the assets at risk - damage was mitigated to only one loss.

The team also created a plan to support the base’s medical clinic and issued 2,000 gallons of fuel which allowed the clinic to preserve $500,000 worth of perishable medications. This plan guaranteed 5,000 military members and dependents healthcare during recovery efforts.

“We were critical in assisting with the delivery of fuel to generators powering Andersen’s radar sites, water storage facilities and the hospital,” said Amodeo. “We tended to the base service station by manually issuing fuel to government vehicles for the entire base. Doing this enabled the rest of the shop to relieve people that needed to take care of their families and houses as well as freeing more bodies for the base’s cleanup efforts.”

After the storm, the team assisted the Red Cross in delivering aid to remote villages by visiting 1,300 families and distributing over 103,000 pounds of aid.

“I would have never imagined we would have the opportunity to have such a significant impact on the island,” said Eastman. “When we left Andersen, we felt great about the work we accomplished and wished we could have stayed to help more. The work out there was extremely rewarding and humbling at the same time.”