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Osan recovers from Typhoon Kompasu

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Typhoon Kompasu struck here Sept. 1-2, ripping trees from the ground, siding from buildings, spreading debris across the base and more.

The men and women of Team Osan not only planned for the storm, but worked day and night to ensure operations were restored and life returned to normal for the Air Force's most forward permanently assigned air base.

The planning phase began long before the Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Three was issued August 31 for all U.S. Forces Korea areas in anticipation of the Typhoon.

"Our men and women train very hard for these exact situations," said Col. Patrick Malackowski, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "From disaster preparedness and response, to base defense, our warriors stand ready to fight and win tonight."

51st Civil Engineer Squadron crews went to work immediately in the early morning hours, shortly after the worst of the storm had subsided, clearing power lines, roadways and sidewalks of debris. Many of the crews worked throughout the day and night to return hazardous road conditions to normal.

As base residents awoke, many discovered they were without power and begun coping with the aftermath by seeking help from neighbors and receiving supplies from base agencies.

"I'm thankful that the base planned for this," said Tech Sgt. Mike Allen, 303rd Intelligence Squadron. "Having water distribution at the housing towers has helped and we didn't feel like we were left to fend for ourselves."

Sergeant Allen also said that he was able to prepare for the storm due to prior experience in hurricane regions and by paying attention to base announcements via email and battle staff directives.

Schools across the base announced the cancellation of classes, which Sergeant Allen's son, Matthew, was excited about.

"When they announced school would be canceled, I thought that was awesome," Matthew said. "But I kind of miss TV with the power being out."

To view a slideshow of photos, click here.