Utah Guardsmen helping Chilean earthquake victims

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Four members of the Utah National Guard were in Chile when the big earthquake hit last month. Since then, they've been helping the Chilean people however they can.

The Guardsmen were staying on the 15th floor of a Santiago hotel on Feb. 27.

"When I got to the stairwell, which is right next to the bank of elevators, the shaking was so violent the elevator doors were slamming open and shut," said Sr. Master Sgt. Joe Mace.

The Utah crew is part of the Guard's 151st Air Refueling Wing, and had arrived to give training and support for the Chilean Air Force and their new E model KC-135.

"We assumed once we heard of the damage and the need for help that we were going to be involved, and we were," said Lt. Col. Boyd Badali.

The Utah crews have joined with a crew from Texas and have flown dozens of humanitarian missions. They have flown medical supplies and food, field kitchens and cooks to turn out emergency meals.


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