Arizona Air National Guard in St. Croix

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira
  • 162nd Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Lee Wickett, Senior Airman Alecia Harris and Airman 1st Class Erik Swanberg are Aerial Port Airmen from the 161 ARW. These airmen provided support in the form of maintaining accountability for incoming Hurricane Maria relief supplies.

“We are responsible for downloading and uploading all military and federal relief aid supplies in preparation for dispersing to the local population,” said Swanberg.

The 161st Aerial Port Airmen were proud to represent the Arizona Air National Guard through support they provided to the St. Croix airport.

“It was a humbling feeling to be able to help out those affected by this catastrophic event,” said Harris. “It has been a rewarding experience to contribute to the relief effort in support of the local community in St. Croix.”

These Airmen had the opportunity to work with various military branches to complete a common mission in supporting the people of St. Croix.

“It has been an honor to serve with the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard in this joint force environment,” said Wickett. “Helping the locals in St. Croix along with other service members has been a very rewarding experience.”

Aerial port was not the only group from the 161 ARW contributing to the hurricane relief efforts. The 161st Security Forces Squadron played an important role in securing the airport at St. Croix.

Tech. Sgt. Robert Segobia’s duties included providing security for the resources, personnel, airport, crowd control, litter carries for the medevacs and assisting the local Virgin Island authorities.

“Day to day operations are very busy with airflow traffic and being tasked with multiple duties,” said Segobia. “Every day, there is always something going on and it solidifies the fact that we are needed here and making a difference.”

Segobia and Senior Airman Jonathan Rockrich, another security forces member from the 161st ARW, took pride in representing the Arizona Air National Guard by performing assigned tasks, as well as going above and beyond their responsibility by providing locals waiting in line for “mercy flights” with free bottled drinking water at the St. Croix Airport.

“To be able to represent my state here at St. Croix with so many other states and agencies is such a great feeling,” said Segobia. “Especially, when our tasking is being accomplished successfully. It is rewarding to receive recognition from senior leadership at other units on how well we are doing. Without a question Arizona and the 161st has left a footprint here at St. Croix.”

The Arizona Air National Guard played an important part in the Hurricane Maria relief efforts. 161st Airmen were proud to represent Arizona in St. Croix. 

“This experience has been very humbling and positive for me,” said Senior Airman Rockrich. “It is rewarding to help people. I love representing the state of Arizona and the 161st. This is why I joined the Air National Guard. The Arizona Air National Guard has played a huge role in answering the call to support Hurricane Maria relief. I am going to do the best I can do at my job.”