The 139th Airlift Wing from St. Joseph and Missouri Task Force 1 are working together at the Columbia Regional Airport as part of the national earthquake preparedness exercise Cracked Earth. The two are working in tandem to assess response and recovery capabilities in the event of a catastrophic earthquake in Missouri. The Airlift Wing is providing a C-130 cargo plane, and the Task Force provides the supplies, including vehicles. Captain Cade Keenan, one of the pilots who brought in the C-130 cargo plane from Rosecrans Field in St. Joseph, said they have deployed to assist with many disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Chile, and the floods in Northwest Missouri last year.
Tammy Rounsavall, a logistics specialists with Missouri Task Force 1, says she’s glad to be working with the Airlift Wing; the training they receive all year is put to work in what she calls “real-world scenarios”, and keeps the Task Force ready for deployment at any time. Most recently, they were sent to Ft. Leonard Wood to help with recovery from the New Year’s Eve tornadoes there.
The two groups will work together on the Cracked Earth exercise through the weekend.