NY Air National Guard Recognizes Storm Response Airmen

New York Air National Guard Col. William McCrink, commander of the 174th Attack Wing based in Syracuse, N.Y. recently recognized 43 Airmen for their support of the historic Christmas 2022 blizzard response in Buffalo.

McCrink praised the Airmen for their dedication to serving their community and their willingness to volunteer to leave their families during the holidays in order to help others. All members were given an official wing challenge coin by McCrink in recognition of their service.

The first element to response from the 174th Attack Wing was a snow removal team from the 174th Civil Engineering Squadron.

Led by Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Lawton and equipped with a snow blower designed for runway clearance. The team arrived in Buffalo on December 24 at the height of the storm. Over the course of three days, Lawton's team covered 91 miles and removed 84 thousand tons of snow.

On Christmas Day, December 25, a debris clearance team departed Hancock Field and assisted Erie County in a variety of missions during a six-day period. Airmen conducted snow removal, supported search and rescue operations and assisted with the recovery of stranded vehicles.

A second group of Airmen from the 174th also deployed December 25 to assist with general purpose taskings. These Airmen provided transportation for 124 medical personnel to and from work, rescued 35 stranded motorists, completed 137 door-to-door wellness checks, and handed out dozens of cases of food and water to Buffalo residents.

The 174th Attack Wing was founded in 1947 and was the first Air National Guard unit in New York.

The wing currently flies the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft on missions around the world from a control facility at Hancock Field.

The wing also trains all MQ-9 maintenance technicians for the Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve while providing qualification training for MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators.

To view these members click here: https://dmna-ny.meritpages.com/achievements/NY-Air-National-Guard-Recognizes-Storm-Response-Airmen/159541