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117th Fatality Search & Recovery Team Awarded

117 FSRT Team Awarded Alabama Accomendation Medal

Colonel Scott Grant (far left), 117th Air Refueling Wing Commander, talks about the 4 airmen who received the Alabama Accomendation Medal as part of the Fatality Search and Recovery Team mission, at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard base, Birmingham, Ala., February 24, 2019. The members include Technical Sgt. Prentice Jones (left), Technical Sgt. Greg Scoggins (left center), Senior Airman Desmond McWilliams (right center) and Senior Airman Chandler Rich, 117th Force Support Squadron, who are all part of the FSRT Team for the 117th Air Refueling Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wesley Jones)

117 FSRT Team Awarded Alabama Accomendation Medal

Brig. Gen. Jeff Newton, Director of the Joint Staff for the Alabama National Guard, Maxwell AFB, awards 4 airmen part of the Fatality Search and Recovery Team at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard base, Birmingham, Ala., February 24, 2019. The members include Technical Sgt. Prentice Jones (left), Technical Sgt. Greg Scoggins (left center), Senior Airman Desmond McWilliams (right center) and Senior Airman Chandler Rich, 117th Force Support Squadron, who are all part of the FSRT Team for the 117th Air Refueling Wing. Colonel Scott Grant, 117th Air Refueling Wing Commander, attended the ceremony as well.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wesley Jones)

117 FSRT Team Awarded Alabama Accomendation Medal

Brig. Gen. Jeff Newton (right), Director of the Alabama National Guard, Maxwell Air Force Base, awards the Alabama Accomendation Medal to Technical Sgt. Prentice Jones, 117th Force Support Squadron, during an awards ceremony at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard base, Birmingham, Ala., February 24, 2019. Jones lead the Fatality Search and Recover Team during their aid in the Hurricane Michael relief effort. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wesley Jones)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --

Four Airmen from the 117th Force Support Squadron earned the Army Accommodation Medal here on February 24.

The Fatality Search and Recovery Team played a critical role in taking care of the deceased following the aftermath of Hurricane Michael which destroyed parts of the Gulf Coast in October of 2018.

The team’s primary job is to respectfully collect the deceased in a timely manner following a large scale disaster.

Brig. Gen. Jeff Newton, Director of the Joint Staff for the Alabama National Guard, traveled to Sumpter Smith Air National Guard base to award the individuals for their efforts in the team’s first real-world deployment since its formation.

“This was the first time this team has ever been called forward in a real-world situation,” said Newton.  “They exercise all of the time and train for these types of scenarios, but it can be an extremely difficult situation when it comes to the real thing.”

The state of Florida called on the 117th under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The agreement is shared by all 50 states and was created by Congress to help each state recover from any sort of national disaster.