Army Reserve Aviators Deliver Water to Hurricane Harvey Victims
Credit: Department of Defense
September 4, 2017
By Army Capt. Loyal Auterson, U.S. Army Reserve Command
As donors began to send semitrailers of water and supplies into the area, the Conroe North Houston Regional Airport became the natural staging point for relief operations.
Two local aviators, Chad Herdrich and Mike Barksdale, began to negotiate hangar space to store the supplies and called for local pilots to carry them to flooded communities north of Beaumont. As they began to carry the cargo, two problems faced the aviators. Their personal aircraft could carry only a few hundred pounds at a time, and the airspace became congested with military helicopters trying to locate trapped survivors.
As a solution, the two men reached out to local U.S. Army Reserve aviators with the 1st Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. One day later, four CH-47 Chinooks from the 7th Battalion (General Support Aviation Battalion), 158th Aviation Regiment, each capable of moving 15,000 pounds of water, took on the mission.