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150th SOW members help after storm

150th Special Operations Wing

150th Special Operations Wing

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Sixty-two National Guard Airmen from Kirtland Air Force Base helped keep traffic flowing safely during Winter Storm Goliath around the Albuquerque metro area and in hard-hit eastern New Mexico.

The Airmen were among the many personnel who helped handle the effects of the storm after the governor activated the National Guard. Capt. Brian Raphael of the New Mexico Air National Guard 150th Special Operations Wing said Airmen from the wing, plus six of its vehicles, supported police over two days, starting the afternoon of Dec. 26, when Gov. Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency, saying the storm was the deadliest of the year.

"This really demonstrates the readiness and professionalism of the Air National Guard in supporting local law enforcement and State Police," Raphael said.

As requested, the 150th members managed traffic at intersections and, if necessary, helped motorists who were stuck. Some of the Airmen activated serve part-time while holding other
jobs, Raphael said. Nonetheless, they immediately agreed to help.

"We're very proud to be able to support our law enforcement community as well as our mission partners," he said.

Raphael said law enforcement officials called the support from the National Guard as a whole the best they'd seen to date. The National Guard has three missions: Protecting the American homeland,  preserving and defending life and property in New Mexico and supporting and strengthening local communities.

"So we're not just a mission partner for Kirtland," Raphael said. "We're also a mission partner for the local community."