Welsh Praises Airmen’s Response to Oklahoma Tornado

The deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., last week “completely destroyed” the homes of 140 airmen stationed at nearby Tinker Air Force Base and “at least partially damaged” the homes of 196 other airmen, said Chief of Staff Gen Mark Welsh. Further, two airmen lost family members in the violent windstorm, Welsh told reporters during a May 24 Pentagon briefing. “There are just no words that can erase that suffering,” he said. “We are all so very sorry for their loss.” Welsh also said he was “inspired” by the resiliency of those affected by the tornado, including those Tinker airmen and Oklahoma Air National Guardsmen who “have been on the front lines of this recovery effort, both search-and-rescue efforts, as well as providing aid to all those affected.” He also recognized members of the Civil Air Patrol who have been providing aerial photography to assist in the recovery efforts. “To all these great airmen, thanks for your selfless service during this very, very difficult period,” said Welsh. (Donley-Welsh transcript) (See also Tinker report by SrA. Mark Hybers and photo slideshow.)