NAS JRB, NSA Receive 'Extraordinary Service' Award

Story Number: NNS060404-15Release Date: 4/4/2006 4:17:00 PM
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By Chief Journalist (SW) Jay Cope, Naval Air Station New Orleans Public Affairs

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation recognized the contributions of military personnel at Naval Support Activity New Orleans and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans, March 8 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The "Extraordinary Service to Humanity" awards recognized heroic contributions in response to Hurricane Katrina.

Seven organizations were honored with the awards, which praised members of the public service community for their efforts in support of the rescue operations following the storm.

"The United States Navy's contribution to the rescue efforts was truly a humanitarian endeavor to make a difference in this American tragedy," said Scott Shields, president of the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation. "Organizations like yours demonstrate professionalism and commitment to public service that serve as a model for all of us serving the public good."

NAS JRB served as the logistical hub for rescue, relief and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. More than 10,000 people and 18 million pounds of equipment and supplies were flown into and distributed from the air station. Thousands of rescue operations commenced from the base, and NAS JRB provided housing accommodations for many of the rescue workers.

In the aftermath of the storm, Naval Support Activity housed members of the Bear Search & Rescue Foundation and the Third Brigade 82nd Airborne. More than 6,000 people were rescued by these units. Without naval base support, this effort would not have been possible.

The Bear Search and Rescue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in the name of "Bear," who was one of the first canines to search for and actually find the most victims at the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks. The mission of the Foundation is to fund training, equipping, and transportation of Search and Rescue teams across the nation.

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