118th Wing provides assistance to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 5:14 PM, Sep 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 11:17:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hurricane Dorian spent days battering the Bahamas. The storm killed dozens of people and destroyed buildings all over the island. Tennessee Air National Guardsmen are now using their technology to help people impacted by the devastation.

The 118th Intel Group is currently providing humanitarian assistance using commercial satellite imagery and technology to help discover safe ingress and egress routes from airfields to distribution centers, medical facilities, schools, hotels, and cisterns.

"I've seen some imagery and not sure I can find the words for it," said Lt. Col. Aaron Wilson, the 118th Intel Group Commander. "In some places, nothing is left."

Nearly half of the island’s structures have been severely damaged or destroyed by the storm. The Tennessee Air National Guardsmen is used to stepping up during hard times. They did it during both Hurricane Harvey and Maria. Now they're extending their training overseas.

"This is the first time our products used in international efforts to Bahamas and outside the United States," said Wilson. "It's one thing to get supplies into airfield but if we can't get it off the airfield to population, we have to rethink how to get it to population so we help decision makers plan around that."

As guardsmen, this is what they're trained to do. They answer the call for help.

The death toll has now reached more than 40 people and is expected to rise significantly. Property losses in the Bahamas could hit $7 billion.

"Without question survivors will have a long road to recovery," said Lt. Col. Wilson.