SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KTVU) - Dozens of Bay Area reservists with the California Air National Guard are being deployed to Houston to help with search and rescue efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey.
The deployment started Moffett Air National Guard Base Monday afternoon. It involved 90 plus personnel, three planes and two helicopters.
At dusk, members of the 129th Rescue Wing headed out to board the C-17 plane that will transport them to the Houston area.
Some are part of the Para-rescue Guardian Angel team and are specially trained with skills ranging from the ability to perform minor surgeries to sharpshooting.
Their mission is to saves lives and help flood victims.
"Finding isolated personnel on rooftops or in flood areas hoisting them on helicopters," says Captain Rod Bersamina with the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard.
Two helicopters were loaded onto a cargo plane that was used on this mission.
Other supplies and equipment such as walkie talkies are also being transported.
"I'm just thankful that I serve here at the 129th and I'm able to come in today and do some really important stuff for our country," says Richard Tran who's a reservist for three years. He's also the mayor of Milpitas.
He and others received orders to report here to the base.
Tran is not flying to Houston. He helped in the preparations.
"I'm providing logistics, readiness, support, moving 10,000 pound cargo," says Tran.
Air national guardsmen say this mission to Houston is what they train for: saving lives.
"It’s what we live and breathe for, and you can't put a price on a life, so when we're tasked out to do these missions— however large or small— t's everything we are called to do, everything we wake up in the morning to do. We're ready to execute, “says Captain Bersamina.
He says at this point, it does not appear there will be more personnel deployed from Moffett, but should there be a need and an order comes, they are ready to go.