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JBER ‘rocks’ after 7.0 magnitude earthquake

By Airman 1st Class Crystal A. Jenkins | JBER Public Affairs | Dec. 1, 2018

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —

In less than 48 hours after the 7.0 magnitude Earthquake striking the Anchorage area at 8:29 a.m. the morning of Nov.30, 2018, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, is mission ready and capable of resuming regular operations.

JBER leaders and recovery operations team members toured facilities to further assess damages to structures and work areas.

“I’ve been out to assess the installation – from work centers to the Joint Military Mall, and was extremely proud to see our JBER team helping one another to recover our community back to normal,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patricia Csànk, Commander, JBER and the 673d Air Base Wing. “Together, we’ve carried on our mission while keeping people safe and bringing the base fully back online. Team JBER is safe, secure, and we are still ready.”

Due to the quick response and combined efforts of essential and non-essential personnel, JBER mission operations continued as community members and family’s needs were taken care of.

“We are operational 24/7,” said Senior Airman Evan Fisher, a 732nd Air Mobility Squadron airfreight operations technician. “Although [the earthquake] limited our ability to operate for a short period of time, we made sure our people were taken care of. While assessments of the runways were being made, we continued to stay mission ready by focusing our efforts on what would need to be accomplished once operations resumed. Once that happened, we were ready.”

Although the runways were evaluated and normal operations began early this morning, many facilities, including the commissary, sustained significant damages requiring a massive clean-up effort.  

“Through the efforts of JBER leadership the word got out that the commissary was in pretty bad shape,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Winisha Irvin, a 673d Comptroller Squadron 3rd Wing budget analyst. “Since this is where I shop it only made sense to volunteer to help clean the place up and restock, so the store could open sooner. This not only helps me, but it helps my entire community get back on their feet again.”

As a result of the efforts of more than 120 volunteers and 60 employees, the commissary was able to resume operations.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the Anchorage area has experienced hundreds of earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater since the initial 7.0 magnitude quake yesterday morning. Despite the challenging environment, JBER is fit to fight and mission ready.