Phil Byrant and Rick Perry Op-Ed – Air Force move cripples emergency response

As Hurricane Ike neared the Texas coast in 2008, hundreds of hospital patients and nursing home residents were in harm’s way, facing a difficult escape from the storm’s path. That’s when the C-130s of the 136th Air- lift Wing, based in Fort Worth, Texas, went into action. That year, for the first time in U.S. history, C-130s were used to help move patients to safety ahead of a storm’s arrival. In all, between Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, also in 2008, 800 people were airlifted to safety.

The same planes were among the first to arrive following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, bringing much-needed supplies and National Guard troops to areas devastated by the storm.

If a plan being put in place by the U.S. Air Force is allowed to go into effect, that sort of mutual assistance among our Gulf Coast states could be a thing of the past.

Phil Bryant Rick Perry
5/9/12