Thursday, January 21, 2010

823rd SFS to depart in support of Haiti relief efforts

By Senior Airman Frances Locquiao, 23rd Wing Public Affairs

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) -- Approximately 70 Airmen from the 823rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody AFB have been ordered to deploy to Haiti to support humanitarian relief efforts there.

The unit will provide security at the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Haiti, their families, as well as visitors to the country during these difficult and trying times," said Col. Donald Derry, 820th Security Forces Group commander. "The collaborative efforts of both the 820th SFG and the 23rd Wing will provide assistance in delivering critically needed aid and support to the people of Haiti during the aftermath of this unprecedented disaster."

The mission of the 823rd SFS is to provide fully integrated, highly capable and responsive forces to protect expeditionary air forces worldwide.

"Our purpose is to augment security forces already present at the airport," said Maj. Tyrell Mayfield, 823rd SFS commander. "Since we are constantly training and preparing for any possible contingency missions, we are designed to perform all the tasks required of us in Haiti.

"We are also self-sufficient, which means we are fully equipped with tents, communication gear, food and water to support ourselves," he added.

Although only about 70 Airmen were tasked to deploy, the rest of the 823rd SFS as well as the 820th SFG are placed on standby in the event of additional taskings.

"Due to the nature of the group, we'll always be prepared to deploy," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Downey, 823rd SFS. "I'm fully confident in our squadron's ability to execute the mission and augment forces to secure Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport."

In addition to the 820th SFG, the 23rd WG also stands ready to further assist if called, to provide personnel and equipment in support of search, rescue and relief operations.