Air Force comms unit to aid Katrina relief effort

The Air Force’s 5th Combat Communications Group departed today to provide public telephone services for Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and a makeshift hospital in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Air Force unit located at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., will set up e-mail, voice data and air traffic control communications. It also packed additional communications equipment to aid in the relief effort, said Air Force Col. John Lent, the unit’s commander, in an Air Force statement today.

The four squadrons in the unit are involved in the relief effort, and 16 of its personnel are already in the area. The 5th Combat Communications Group, an Air Combat Command organization that reports to the 9th Air Force at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., provides mobile and transportable command and control communications and air traffic control systems worldwide.

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