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Georgia Air Guardsman's Story of COVID Relief Efforts & CSAR Motto that Motivates Him

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Scott Shalek, an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, sanitizes a long-term care facility in Macon, Georgia, May 8, 2020. Georgia National Guard infection control teams supported COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Scott Shalek, an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, sanitizes a long-term care facility in Macon, Georgia, May 8, 2020. Georgia National Guard infection control teams supported COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Scott Shalek, an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, dons personal protective equipment before sanitizing a long-term care facility in Macon, Georgia, May 8, 2020. Georgia National Guard infection control teams supported COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Scott Shalek, an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard, dons personal protective equipment before sanitizing a long-term care facility in Macon, Georgia, May 8, 2020. Georgia National Guard infection control teams supported COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

I am Staff Sgt. Scott Shalek, an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft aerospace propulsion mechanic with the 116th Maintenance Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard. I enlisted in the Georgia Air National Guard in October 2019 after 11 years in the Regular Air Force.

I was an active-duty aircraft mechanic, working on HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters, supporting combat search and rescue (CSAR). The motto behind CSAR is, “These things we do… that others may live.” It carries a tremendous amount of weight within the rescue community — that every action we do influences people’s lives when they need help the most.

That same mindset really carries over to what we are doing at these long-term care facilities. Being able to help protect the staff and residents of the facilities means we are potentially saving lives. It has made me proud to be part of the Air National Guard in this unique time.

The reward is in knowing we are helping the long-term care facility staffs and residents in this time of need. The residents we saw seemed to be in good spirits for the most part, and many of them thanked us for what we are doing. The staff have all been very thankful, as well. We are doing what we can to help preserve life.