MORRISVILLE, N.C. - Within 12 hours of receiving the call for support, Spc. Grant Johnson, an aircraft mechanic with North Carolina Army National Guard Detachment 1, Bravo Co., 2nd 151st Aviation Regiment, was on duty and ready to help his community recover from Hurricane Florence.
A Burlington, North Carolina native, Johnson always wanted to serve.
"Being able to help is an amazing feeling," said Johnson. "It's something I've always wanted to do since I was little, seeing Guardsmen on the news, and I wanted to help in any way that I could."
Maintaining helicopters that conduct search and rescue missions is a critical support role in disaster relief efforts.
"As mechanics, we maintain the aircraft, and before every flight, we do checks of every component of the aircraft to make sure it's ready to fly," said Johnson
For every successful aviation mission that takes place, there is a team of mechanics that work to ensure the helicopters used for critical search and supply missions are always ready.
When Johnson first joined his unit he repaired sheet metal, but learned that maintaining helicopters was his passion. He went back to school and is now a Lakota mechanic.
Like Johnson, many other mechanics along with aviators and fuelers from states across the country also answered that call.
As aviation crews conduct rescue missions from above, maintenance crew members do their part on the ground as relief efforts continue.
"I just want to thank all the states for coming out and helping us out, it's made a tremendous impact, and we couldn't be doing it without them," said Johnson.