Local air reservists head to Florida for Hurricane Irma relief efforts

A C-5M took off from Westover Air Reserve base, carrying 50 air reservists to Florida

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of air reservists flew to Homestead Air Reserve Base Monday night to spend the next month helping with recovery efforts in Florida after Hurricane Irma.

A C-5M took off from Westover Air Reserve base, carrying 50 air reservists to Florida. Each has special skills, including civil engineering, aeroport transport and media relations.

They’ll spend at least 30 days assisting recovery efforts, based from Homestead Air Reserve Base near Miami.

“I got notified around 9 a.m. this morning, and my reaction was absolutely I’ll go,” Staff Sergeant Randy Smith of the U.S. Air Force Reserves in Millbury told 22News. “You know no hesitation to go down. I believe we’ll be working with FEMA, you know loading all of the equipment and supplies for all of the people down in Florida that need it.”

Westover airmen to help in Irma recovery efforts

These reserve citizen airmen all have day jobs, and they dropped everything with just a few hours of notice to head to Florida to help.

“Most of them are what we call traditional reservists,” Master Sergeant Andrew Biscoe of the Westover Air Reserve Base told 22News. “Today they put their entire lives on hold, their families their jobs. I’m really proud of that. There was that energy that just said, we just gotta get going. We’re trained to do this, and let’s just do it.”

These men and women from Westover will be in Florida for at least 30 days, but could be deployed longer if needed.

The Homestead Air Reserve Base did sustain some damage after Hurricane Irma, but the C-5M plane was cleared to land there.