OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE – Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Offutt Air Force Base, March 27, to see flood damage and to speak with hundreds of base personnel who helped with preparation and, now, recovery.
In recent weeks, flooding along the Missouri RIver consumed approximately one-third of the base. The base had less than a 48-hour warning to prepare.
During that time, Offutt AFB personnel and volunteers came together to fill sandbags, build barriers, clear buildings, move equipment and whatever else they could do to help.
“I am so proud of the members of Team Offutt who worked tirelessly for days to protect as many assets as possible,” Goldfein said. “I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank the local community. It is those strong partnerships that made all of this possible.”
Local businesses and organizations came to the rescue and supplied the base with numerous preparation items from sand to plastic wrap.
By the crest of the flood, more than 3,000 members were displaced from their work centers and 1.2 million square feet of office space was under water.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein talks with Airmen during his visit to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 27, 2019. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited the installation to survey damage caused by recent flooding over multiple states along the Missouri River. Photo by Delanie Stafford
“A lot of people put in a lot of time and effort,” Wright said. “Thank you. I know it’s been tough. Try to keep your spirits up. As Airmen, we keep going and going and going. Don’t be afraid to take a knee.”
Goldfein and Wright spent the majority of their visit at the Bennie L. Davis Maintenance Facility, which was one of the facilities affected by the flood, talking with Offutt AFB personnel who gathered for a social. Around 30 families provided the food as a thank you to the men and women volunteering to assist with the cleanup efforts.
“From the very beginning we have been inundated with support by our Air Force leadership team, our elected officials, the local community and our own personnel and their families,” said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander. “Their support throughout this whole ordeal has only strengthened our resolve to come back even stronger.”
To date, more than 25 structures have been cleared post flooding. Offutt AFB continues to make gains daily as the long road to recovery carries on.