The Air Force has evacuated nearly 2,000 residents of the Gulf Coast as of Sept. 24, according to Air Mobility Command. In a 24-hour period, 827 airmen—of which 805 were Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command members—worked to aeromedevac an estimated 1,240 vulnerable citizens in the path of Hurricane Rita. USAF C-130s evacuated critically ill children and their intensive care nurses from Houston Children’s Medical Center to the Arkansas Children’s Medical Center. An ANG unit flew 60 patients back to their homes in Key West, Fla. In all, the Air Force flew a total of 61 medevac sorties on Sept. 23 and 74 missions overall in response to Hurricane Rita. USAF used C-5, C-9, C-17, C-130, and C-141 aircraft from units in Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington, and Texas.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.