Never give up, never surrender: Airman helps secure POTUS assets

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rito Smith
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Irma, many Airmen placed the mission before themselves and worked tirelessly to save resources.

One of those individuals, Senior Airman Logan T. Patterson, a vehicle operator assigned to the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, led a four vehicle convoy consisting of a 10-personnel team from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to West Palm Beach. Part of the mission—to retrieve assets for the President of the United States before Irma made landfall.

Although Patterson needed to prepare his own home for the hurricane, he selflessly led the convoy to retrieve POTUS assets and deliver supplies to Raymond James Stadium and the base hospital, then led the POTUS assets back once the hurricane passed.

“I wake up every day and I know that as long as I wear this uniform, the mission comes first,” said Patterson. “So all the stuff at home comes second.”

Patterson’s responsibilities consisted of ensuring the convoy possessed the correct equipment and planning the travel route to, and from, their destination.

“Before this trip I had to sit down and plan out a route that would allow us to get the assets in a timely manner and make it home safe,” said Patterson. “I knew if we used the major highways we would be on the road for an extended time and possibly run out of gas.”

Due to the millions of evacuating Floridians seeking to escape Irma’s destructive path, fuel shortages became a major issue.

“We knew we had the fuel to make it to the assets,” said Patterson. “Our biggest issue was fuel shortages on the way back after everyone else had already started to evacuate.”

Despite returning safely home with the POTUS’ assets, the mission still remained incomplete.

“We moved MRE’s, water, cots, toiletry items and vehicles to the base hospital for those that would stay behind when the gate closed and the base shut down,” said Patterson. “The next day we moved that same equipment to Raymond James Stadium.”

Following Hurricane Irma, the team returned the POTUS assets back to West Palm Beach, prior to his scheduled arrival just a few days later.

“If we didn’t get that equipment back in time, it would have resulted in failed POTUS support.” said Patterson.

Patterson’s efforts helped his team successfully execute the mission, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles Hurricane Irma placed in his, and his comrades’, path.

“Patterson is my pitbull,” said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Laing, NCOIC of vehicle operations assigned to the 6th LRS. “When I need something done he makes it happen.”