August 30, 2013

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Stewart Air Guard members recognized

TOWN OF NEWBURGH – The members of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Air and Ground Operations Response Team have received the Air National Guard Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award.  The award recognizes the work team members at the Stewart Airport Air Guard Base performed during deployments to Afghanistan and during the Guard’s response to Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012.

The Air and Ground Operations Response Team is trained to coordinate air cargo operations and quickly move supplies on and off aircraft in a combat environment.

During a deployment to Afghanistan last year the team trained International Security Assistance Force personnel in loading and unloading cargo aircraft at forward operating locations. They also designed aerial port of debarkation loading and unloading procedures at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, a major coalition forces installation, which reduced air cargo idle time by 45 percent.

The experience the team gained in Afghanistan was put to good use in the wake of Hurricane Sandy when the Stewart Air National Guard base became the hob of national-level efforts to ship utility repair equipment and vehicles into the northeast from other parts of the country.

The team handled the 600 percent increase in normal cargo flow into the base without incident.

Members of the 105th Air and Ground Recovery Operations Team (contributed photo - IDs not provided)

“If everyone is doing a little bit and supplementing the city’s efforts – and we are making a big effort picking up trash six days a week downtown, we have a street cleanup guy five days a week in downtown, we have street sweeping on a regular basis downtown – now the merchants have to make another extra effort over and above and I think you will see some change,” DeStefano said.

Among other recommendations to make the corridor more appealing to customers was to remove large signs that covered store windows. DeStefano also said the BID was going to purchase a special machine next year to remove unsightly chewing gum from sidewalks.

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