BEAR Base Airmen assist Andersen Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Corinna Sanabia
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

On May 24th of this year, Typhoon Mawar struck Anderson Air Base in Guam. With 140 mph winds and 28 inches of rain, 400 Airmen, civilians and dependents were displaced, and much of the installation’s vital infrastructure was destroyed.

To aid in the recovery of the vital operations performed there, two teams from the 635th Materiel Maintenance Group were deployed to the island.

“The first team left Holloman for Guam on June 24th and spent one week in Hawaii at Pacific Air Forces headquarters developing a contingency employment plan for Andersen,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. David Ortiz, 635th Materiel Maintenance Support Squadron section chief. “The secondary team arrived on July 10th to provide additional support.”

Often hailed as the ‘forward edge of the Indo-Pacific,’ Andersen is an essential part of the Air Force’s global security mission. To ensure their mission can continue as normal, Airmen from the Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resource Base rallied together to assess, inventory, and reconstitute war reserve materiel assets after Typhoon Mawar devastated the island.

“It was the team's efforts that improved the readiness and accessibility for the enterprise in the Pacific, readying Andersen for future exercises, and support when called,” said Ortiz.

During a two-month period, the teams from the 635th MMG, which consisted of 25 Airmen, and those at Andersen helped to save $21 million worth of WRM. These teams also helped to inventory and function check about $65 million worth of equipment.

“Working with a small group of contractors that were in need of help with such a huge task made me feel like all of our jobs had a purpose,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brock Young, 635th MMS structural journeyman. “It really felt like we accomplished something, especially with how fast we were able to send out some of our most experienced and mission capable Airmen.”

These teams were also able to provide subject matter expertise in the fields of supply, power production, structures, HVAC, electrical, corrosion, and transportation to generate mission capable Unit Type Codes.

“It is important to lend our expertise and aid to other bases to help them prepare to be mission ready at all times,” said Ortiz. “We need to ensure our WRM assets are always ready to be employed to support expeditionary forces in austere locations when needed.”