Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 39621
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2019/01/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/9/10-12 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Science/Space] UID:39621 Activity:kinda low
9/10    Military pilots reprimanded for saving lives: (New York Times)
        \_ This story is fishy on two parts. Their motto
           belongs to Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, not Navy
           unit. And for those that have never served, their
           CO is technically correct. Orders above all else. For you
           "compassionate" civilians who dont understand black and white.
        \_ Err, the pilots weren't reprimanded.  They were mildly scolded by
           by their CO for not fulfilling their primary mission.  Only very
           late in the day did they seek out permission (which was granted)
           to abandon their primary mission.
           \_ "Kennel duty".  Sure.  -John
2019/01/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Matt Udkow, at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their a ssignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military instal lations along the Gulf Coast. "I felt it was a great day because we resupplied the people we needed to and we rescued people, too," Lieutenant Udkow said. But the air operatio ns commander at Pensacola Naval Air Station "reminded us that the logist ical mission needed to be our area of focus." The episode illustrates how the rescue effort in the days immediately aft er Hurricane Katrina had to compete with the military's other, more mund ane logistical needs. Only in recent days, after the federal response to the disaster has come to be seen as inadequate, have large numbers of troops and dozens of hel icopters, trucks and other equipment been poured into to the effort. Ear ly on, the military rescue operations were smaller, often depending on t he initiative of individuals like Lieutenants Shand and Udkow. The storm had cut off electricity and water to the center, and the two helicopters were supposed to drop their loads and return to Pen sacola, their home base, said Cmdr. "Their orders were to go and deliver water and parts and to come back," C ommander Holdener said. But as the two helicopters were heading back home, the crews picked up a radio transmission from the Coast Guard saying helicopters were needed n ear the University of New Orleans to help with rescue efforts, the two p ilots said. Out of range for direct radio communication with Pensacola, more than 100 miles to the east, the pilots said, they decided to respond and turned their helicopters around, diverting from their mission without getting p ermission from their home base. "We're not technically a search-and-rescue unit, but we're trained to do search and rescue," said Lieutenant Shand, a 17-year Navy veteran. Flying over Biloxi and Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi, they coul d see rescue personnel on the ground, Lieutenant Udkow said, but he noti ced that there were few rescue units around the flooded city of New Orle ans, on the ground or in the air. Seeing people on the roofs of houses waving to him, Lieutenant Udkow head ed in their direction. Hovering over power lines, his crew dropped a bas ket to pick up two residents at a time. He took them to Lakefront Airpor t, where local emergency medical teams had established a makeshift medic al center. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Shand landed his helicopter on the roof of an apart ment building, where more than a dozen people were marooned. Women and c hildren were loaded first aboard the helicopter and ferried to the airpo rt, he said. Returning to pick up the rest, the crew learned that two blind residents had not been able to climb up through the attic to the roof and were sti ll in the building. Two crew members entered the darkened building to fi nd the men, and led them to the roof and into the helicopter, Lieutenant Shand said. Recalling the rescues in an interview, he became so emotional that he had to stop and compose himself. At one point, he said, he executed a trick y landing at a highway overpass, where more than 35 people were marooned . Lieutenant Udkow said that he saw few other rescue helicopters in New Orl eans that day. The toughest part, he said, was seeing so many people imp loring him to pick them up and having to leave some. "I would be looking at a family of two on one roof and maybe a family of six on another roof, and I would have to make a decision who to rescue," he said. While refueling at a Coast Guard landing pad in early evening, Lieutenant Udkow said, he called Pensacola and received permission to continue res cues that evening. According to the pilots and other military officials, they rescued 110 people. The next morning, though, the two crews were called to a meeting with Com mander Holdener, who said he told them that while helping civilians was laudable, the lengthy rescue effort was an unacceptable diversion from t heir main mission of delivering supplies. With only two helicopters avai lable at Pensacola to deliver supplies, the base did not have enough to allow pilots to go on prolonged search and rescue operations. "We all want to be the guys who rescue people," Commander Holdener said. "But they were told we have other missions we have to do right now and t hat is not the priority." The order to halt civilian relief efforts angered some helicopter crews. Lieutenant Udkow, who associates say was especially vocal about voicing his disagreement to superiors, was taken out of the squadron's flying ro tation temporarily and assigned to oversee a temporary kennel establishe d at Pensacola to hold pets of service members evacuated from the hurric ane-damaged areas, two members of the unit said. Lieutenant Udkow denied that he had complained and said he did not view the kennel assignment a s punishment. Dozens of military aircraft are now conducting search and rescue missions over the affected areas. But privately some members of the Pensacola un it say the base's two available transport helicopters should have been a llowed to do more to help civilian victims in the days after the storm h it, when large numbers of military helicopters had not reached the affec ted areas. In protest, some members of the unit have stopped wearing a search and re scue patch on their sleeves that reads, "So Others May Live."