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News | Nov. 5, 2007

JTF-Bravo deploys to support Tropical Storm Noel relief in Dominican Republic

By 1st Lt. Erika Yepsen Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

 A team of 19 Airmen and Soldiers and two helicopters from Joint Task Force Bravo departed here Nov. 5 heading for the Dominican Republic to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel. 

The 19 servicemembers and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were loaded on a C-5 Galaxy from the New York Air National Guard this morning and will arrive in the Dominican Republic later today. 

"We'll be doing search and rescue missions," said Army Sgt. Jose Burgos-Mercado, one of the Joint Task Force Bravo Soldiers deploying to the Dominican Republic. The 19 member team from Joint Task Force Bravo consists mostly of aircrew and search and rescue team members. 

There are a lot of people still missing, so we'll help look for them and move relief supplies, said Sergeant Burgos. 

"It feels really good to be a part of this, making a difference in people's lives," said Air Force Capt. Kevin Brathwaite, New York Air National Guard, one of the C-5 aircrew members. The aircrew was in Rota, Spain, scheduled to operate in Southwest Asia when they received the call they were to come to Honduras to assist with Tropical Storm relief efforts. 

Air Force Capt. Jason Siebert of the West Virginia Air National Guard was flying with the New York Airmen on his first C-5 overseas training mission. 

"I've gotten to see almost the whole world in one trip," said Captain Siebert about his unique training mission. "But when you get the chance to do something humanitarian, you do it, that's why we're here."