Skip to comments.Texas National Guard Airman recognized by Allstate (Hurricane Rita)
Posted on 12/20/2005 1:45:47 PM PST by Racehorse
BEAUMONT, Texas (Dec. 14, 2005) -- An Airman from the Houston, Texas, area who has already won many accolades for his quick thinking and actions received yet another award from Insurance company Allstate Dec. 7 for potentially saving hundreds of lives in anticipation of Hurricane Rita.
Faced with a new mission as a result of the hurricane, Master Sgt. Lynn Bailey, 147th Fighter Wing fuel superintendent, completed a task others might have thought impossible.
The task garnered him the nickname The Nozzle Man because his nozzle was indirectly responsible for the getting vehicles carrying sick and elderly back on the road after Rita forced their evacuation.
Hundreds of bus drivers, contracted from all over the country and then stranded without fuel, called for help. Through the Texas Department of Emergency Management and Gov. Rick Perry, the Guard was called in. Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, director of the National Guard, has said, You call in the Guard, you call in America, and what Sergeant Bailey did next was a perfect example of what the general meant.
Sergeant Bailey, one of the skeleton crew hunkering down at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, was prepared to wait out the storm and spring into action when called upon to do so, anticipating that he and his crew would be required to refuel aircraft. Instead, he was asked to assist the Army National Guards mission of refueling buses before the storm roared in.
To get the busses back on the road, a couple of Army Guard tanker trucks were dispatched, but it soon became apparent that the military fuel nozzles were not compatible with the commercial busses fuel receptacles. Ironically, the tankers and fuel bladders dispatched contained sufficient fuel to get the busses on their way, but getting it into the busses seemed an impossible task. Undaunted, Sergeant Bailey returned to his shop and began fashioning a nozzle from bits and pieces until he came up with one that fit. Together with Army Guard personnel, he worked around the clock building more nozzles. Then they got them to the tankers to fuel the busses, all of which finally got under way.
This man is my hero too, said Maj. Gen. Charles Rodriguez, Adjutant General of Texas, when he awarded Sergeant Bailey the Army Commendation Medal. When I was awakened at 1:30 in the morning and was told about the fuel problem, this man was already a part of the solution.
Now the Beaumont community, a community still struggling with Ritas aftermath, has shown its appreciation as well. Rich Christ, Allstate field vice president for the Texas region, presented Sergeant Bailey the Good Hands Award.
I might never be able to get away from the nickname Nozzle Man now, Sergeant Bailey said with a broad smile.
The sergeant is much more than a handy individual; he has handled off-road situations as well. An avid dirt-bike competitor, he, his wife and his daughter have entered dirt-bike competitions all over the world. He works on the family-oriented dirt-biker clubs newsletter and was recently nominated club president
Sergeant Bailey also volunteered for deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his men were the first Air National Guard troops to arrive at Bashur Air Base, Iraq, where they established immediate contact and coordination with Headquarters CENTAF.
He grins when he says: We had nothing, other than our personal protective gear, but we soon found a captured Iraqi bulk storage facility and we used their own fuel for use in support of our air base operations.
He deployed to a classified location just 34 miles from the Iraqi border where he spearheaded the refueling of 24 special operations and search and rescue aircraft. Upon Bailey's arrival at Kirkuk AB, he was instrumental in the coordination and initial set up of a hot refueling area for A-10 attack aircraft. He established the fuels laboratory and quality control program. Sergeant Bailey's coordination with HQ CENTAF fuels lab allowed an additive to place in jet fuel to be used as diesel in generators and vehicles eliminating the need for an additional grade of fuel and dispensing equipment to support forward operations.
Sergeant Bailey was forced to leave Iraq because he had severely damaged his rotator cuff and needed surgery. He said he was so drugged against the pain that he does not remember much of the medial facility, but he does remember finding an Iraqi sitting at the foot of his cot waiting for medics to treat him.
A citation from the 484th Air Expeditionary Wing at Baghdad International Airport stated that Sergeant Bailey played a key leadership role in the rapid buildup and sustainment of coalition and humanitarian airfield operations while providing base fuel support to special operations, combat radar and combat search and rescue forces supporting OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom].
To him I say, Nozzle-tov!
Necessity is the mother of invention...........
If he's also insured by them however, he should expect a premium increase as well...
>>To him I say, Nozzle-tov!<<
LOL! Very clever!
Apparently the guy's Iraq War experience made him more prepared to deal with an emergency at home. So much for the argument that we "diverted our resources" in Iraq.
Iraq War veterans are going to shape America's future in majorly significant ways. Who know, we may see half of Congress consisting of them and a 2012 or 2016 candidate for President to boot.
Why not just use a funnel and some hose? Or do like they do in Georgia and just use a hose.