Refuge from a Raging River

Airmen and aircraft assigned to the Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing took refuge at the Kansas City International Airport in late July as the Missouri River rose up to 12-feet above flood stage. The wing is normally based 40 miles to the north at Rosecrans Airport in St. Joseph. The shift is “basically a detachment operation similar to how we would operate overseas at a temporary location,” said Lt. Col. Byron Newell, 139th Operations Group chief of standardization and evaluation. The 180th Airlift Squadron and the 139th Maintenance Group established an expeditionary style maintenance shop at the former Trans World Airlines overhaul facility, complete with a planning section and flightline. “We are flying this operational mission the same way we would out of St. Joseph,” said Newell. The wing began parking C-130s overnight at KCI as a precaution in early July. (St. Joseph report by SSgt. Michael Crane)