Top U.S. Transportation Command official visits 123rd Airlift Wing

By Maj. Dale Greer 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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Gen. William M. Fraser III (right), commander of U.S. Transportation Command, speaks with Kentucky’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, during a visit to the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on March 12, 2013. Fraser was on base to learn more about the mission and the Airmen of the 123rd Airlift Wing. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The commander of U.S. Transportation Command toured the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here March 12, marking the second time in little more than a month that a four-star general has visited the 123rd Airlift Wing.Gen. William M. Fraser III, who was on base to learn more about the unit and its Airmen, received a mission brief from Col. Warren Hurst, wing commander, and Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general.

Fraser also talked with troops and examined a range of static displays that showcased the wing’s disaster-relief capabilities, from special tactics and contingency response to a new Mobile Emergency Operations Center, a state-of the-art field kitchen and Kentucky’s Fatality Search and Recovery Team.

The Fatality Search and Recovery Team, or FSRT, is one of just 17 in the Air National Guard, according to Master Sgt. Krista Lindsey, non-commissioned officer in charge. Team members, who are tasked with recovering the remains of victims killed by natural disasters or hostile action, can operate in a variety of dangerous environments, including those contaminated by nuclear, biological or chemical agents.

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Maj. Sean McLane, director of operations for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, demonstrates a variety of special operations equipment to General William M. Fraser III, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, during a tour of the 123rd Airlift Wing in Louisville, Ky., on March 12, 2013. The gear is used to establish operations at austere landing zones. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

The Mobile Emergency Operations Center is a 36-foot long, $750,000 trailer equipped with an on-board generator, a full suite of civilian communications capabilities and meeting room space. It can be towed to the scene of any domestic catastrophe and serve as a technological bridge between military and civilian communications networks, according to Senior Master Sgt. Carol Davis, emergency manager for Kentucky’s 123rd Civil Engineer Squadron.The field kitchen, formally known as the Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer, offers a vast improvement over previous models because it offers greater efficiency and boasts high-tech features like a touch-screen recipe database, said Tech. Sgt. Ricky Odle of the 123rd Force Support Squadron. Nine Kentucky Air Guardsmen deployed to Washington, D.C., with the kitchen in January, serving more than 1,800 hot meals to U.S. troops supporting the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Gen. Paul J. Selva, commander of Air Mobility Command, viewed the same displays when he visited the 123rd Airlift Wing on Feb. 5.

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