Airmen from Air Force Special Operations Command, headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Fla., who specialize in setting up bare base airfield operations have deployed to help the devastated New Orleans get Louis Armstrong International Airport up and running, the Air Force said late Wednesday. An MC-130 flew a team of combat controllers and medics to the airport to reopen the runway. The airport has no electricity or air traffic control capability, so the CCT planned to set up a portable light system and portable air traffic radios to direct humanitarian flights. The command has also sent 19 HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and 11 C-130 aircraft—helo refuelers and other special ops types—to Jackson, Miss., to support relief efforts and search and rescue operations.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.