Metro Mayors Day at the 133rd Airlfit Wing
By Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss, 133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 25, 2010
St. Paul -- "It is comforting to know the capabilities are there," remarked Mark Sather, City Manager of White Bear Lake, Minnesota as he and other officials from around the metropolitan area participated in Metro Mayors Day at the 133rd Airlift Wing Air National Guard base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport on August 19, 2010.
Metro Mayors Day for the Minnesota Air National Guard brought 15 city officials from seven cities onto the base to observe and participate with the men and women who fly and maintain the C-130 "Hercules" military cargo aircraft, and support national and local defense initiatives.
"I had no idea of the capabilities the 133rd Airlift Wing provides for local communities" said Maplewood Mayor Will Rossbach. "I guess I just thought of the Airlift wing in connection with services overseas or during emergency situations like Katrina." He enjoyed all of the activities, "and I highly recommend that anyone take advantage of upcoming opportunities."
A highlight included demonstrations by first responders for local and regional incidents with medical and other disaster response units like the 55th Civil Support Team and the National Guard unit known as CERFP, or Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radiological, high yield Explosive, Enhanced Response Force Package. This disaster response capability is available to state and local officials when authorized to bring important capabilities to communities, so building relationships with city officials is an important facet to Metro Mayors Day.
"Metro Mayors Day provides awareness to our community as to what is available from the Minnesota Air and Army National Guard, said Col. Greg Haase, Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing. "I think the participants came away with a greater and deeper understanding about what we can offer the community if there is a disaster of the magnitude that qualifies for our presence."
"I am amazed at the small amount of people you have doing the job," said Walter Fehst, City Manager of Columbia Heights, Minn. "The Minnesota National Guard does a lot with the resources available."
Col. Haase said there will be other opportunities for city officials to come out and continue to build on the relationships, and Metro Mayors Day will become a regular offering for civilian governments to visit the Minnesota National Guard.