ISS3 2012

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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The evolution of the load is lengthy, taking upwards of an hour 8TH DISTRICT Eighth District "DARTs" into Action n a corner of the incinnatiȀ orthern entucky nternational Airport in the late evening hours of August 29, a dedicated crew of Coast Guard reservists from Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) Cincinnati's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) made a ϐinal run through their preǦϐlight checklistǤ Orleans to join in the Coast Guard's multi-faceted response effort in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. oatsǫ t the airportǫ eady for ϐlightǫ While the crew, with their four-door Ford pickup and trailer stacked with boats may have looked out of place on the runway that afternoon, all questions concerning its odd location were answered when an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., touched down that evening. DART's, like this one from MSD Cincinnati, are a specialized weapon in the Coast Guard's response arsenal. The crews are made up primarily of Reserve members and are deployed during inland ϐlooding incidentsǤ rews use smallǡ lightǦweightǡ ϐlatǦ bottom boats that are ideally suited for navigating ϐloodwaters in urban developments. Developments, such as towns and suburban neighborhoods, are full of unknown hazards when ϐlooding occursǤ "Missing manhole covers, electrical lines, stepping hazards, contamination issues, animals and reptiles are just a few of the obstacles our crews faceǡdz said etty fϐicer ͵rd lass achary Carlson, a boatswain mate with the DART. "Our chief snapped a photo of an alligator lurking close by during this deployment. People don't realize that nature's creatures also are affected in these situations." This particular DART is unique in that the trailer and the boats were specially designed to ϐit inside a erculesǤ his allows the crew to be utilized anywhere in the country where ϐlooding occurs. In only a matter of hours, the DART crew can be on the ground and response- ready hundreds of miles from their home unit. There is a science behind transporting the MSD Cincinnati DART. Loading the truck and trailer of boats can turn into a logistics nightmare without the proper planning. "There is an awful lot of planning and quite a bit of math homework that goes into coordinating one of these ϐlightsǡdz said etty fϐicer ʹnd lass aul ohnsonǡ an aviation maintenance technician at Air Station Clearwater and loadmaster for the ϐlightǤ Dz otal lengthǡ basic parameterǡ weight of cargo, number and weight of passengers, consideration for the joint between the trailer and the truck…these are all things that have to be factored into the equation." upplies were packedǤ ear was securedǤ oats were ready for their ϐlight down to ew to complete. There is no room for error –much like there is no room on the plane. Dz t is a really tight ϐlightǡdz said etty fϐicer 1st lass oel rownǡ a reservist with the MSD Cincinnati DART. "The front bumper of the truck is all the way at the front wall of the cargo area, and the tail lights of the trailer extend all the way to the back. There is just enough space on either side of the boat for our crew to sit." he crew spent the entire threeǦhour ϐlight from Cincinnati to New Orleans facing the boats, with minimal room for movementǤ uckily for the teamǡ it was a smooth ϐlightǤ Dz e were able to ϐly right over the top of the stormǡ which made this trip nice and uneventfulǡdz said incinnati has etty fϐicer ʹnd lass Darren Johnson, an aviation maintenance technician at Air Station Clearwater, who served as a crew member on the Hercules. "It was a good ϐlightǤdz his is far from the ϐirst time the ulf been down to the oastǤ Dz ur team was here for atrina and Rita," said Brown. "This is our seventh deployment to the area." DARTS provide the Coast Guard the essential surface logistics support it needs to successfully launch and execute response efforts. The versatility of the DART makes them ideal for deployment during inland and coastal ϐlood eventsǤ he smallǡ ϐlat bottom boats allow response personnel to maintain access to storm-damage areas. DART crews can reach the areas that air assets cannot. "We have the ability to go from house to house," said Brown. "We can drive down each street of the affected neighborhoods and bring the residents the help they need right to their homes." In all, the DART crew rescued 5 people and assisted partner agencies in the delivery of food and supplies to residents in one of the hardest-hit areas of southeast Louisiana. And then, as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone –headed back up to the Midwest to await the next emergency call to action. "Being able to provide assistance to people when they are losing hope, even if we are only here for a short time, is one of the most rewarding things about these types of deployments," said Carlson with a smile. "And while the expressions and gratitude we receive from people when we show up is rewarding enough, I always accept the hugs when they come my way." Although the people of the Gulf Coast appreciate their visit, they hope that it will be quite some time before they are back in the neighborhood again. By PA2 Elizabeth Bordelon Eighth District Public Affairs In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac, members of a Coast Guard Disaster Assistance Response Team return from assisting a trucker from Texas along the flooded frontage road by the Highway 55 underpass in LaPlace, La., Aug. 31. *TTVF t ᕇ RESERVIST 11 Photo by PA2 Bill Colclough

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