21st SW provides support, relief

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As local, state and federal agencies work together to fight the Waldo Canyon wildfires, members of the 21st Space Wing continue to provide behind-the-scenes support to those agencies, the community at large and military members throughout the Front Range.

Part of this support is in the form of the 21st Medical Group's ability to relieve the U.S. Air Force Academy's 10th MDG by dispensing 1,000 prescriptions to patients normally assigned to USAFA's clinic after receiving pharmaceuticals from the Academy earlier in the day.

Reciprocally, up to 32 providers and support staff from the 10th MDG will work from the medical clinic on Peterson Air Force by Friday.

"We are working together to continue to care for our people while providing as much support as possible to the firefight," said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander. "We're one team working toward the same goal, on base or off, civilian or military; we all just want to complete the mission at hand and put an end to the destruction and fear consuming us now."

In addition to the two medical groups coming together to continue operations, firefighters from the 721st Civil Engineer Division on Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station are on stand-by at Colorado Springs Fire Station 7 to backfill for local firefighters who are combating the flames.

A refueling truck from the 21st SW is being used on USAFA to fill equipment. The 21st CE Squadron provided a dozer to CE professionals on the Academy to allow further fire mitigation on the installation, as well as a pumper truck to aid in fire suppression.

On Peterson AFB, the base fitness center is closed until further notice and is prepared to expeditiously respond to evacuated military members. Wing leaders have strategically determined how much support can be provided if needed from all 21st SW units, from logistics and supplies to family support.

As an additional step to ensure displaced members have access to helping agencies, the wing standing-up the Emergency Family Assistance Control Center to provide assistance from workcenters around the wing that can help evacuees, such as legal, chaplains, finance and the Airman and Family Readiness Center to name a few.

"We are prepared to execute all emergency plans and procedures to provide support to the firefighting efforts and military members affected by the wildfires," Crawford added. Wildfire information pertaining to Peterson AFB will be updated via the Peterson AFB website, www.peterson.af.mil, the Peterson AFB Facebook and Twitter pages and on the base's evacuation information hotline at (719) 556-7669.