Joe Brewer Helps With Columbia Recovery Effort

Joe Brewer, from the Class of 1969, works with the National Forestry Service. Joe spent time last summer fighting fires out west. He is currently on a new assignment helping in the Columbia debris recovery effort. What follows is a brief note from Joe.

Joe Brewer, Class of 1969

As you’ve probably heard, this is an effort supported by numerous Government agencies and non-Government entities. NASA is directing the area and intensity needed, FEMA is tasking the various agencies, and the U.S. Forest Service working with Texas Forest Service is taking on the lion’s share of the search and recovery operation. I work for the U.S. Forest Service in the Disaster Operations Center as a member of a 4-man liaison team between FEMA and the Forest Service.

I’m tracking the total costs of this incident to the U.S. Forest Service and Texas Forest Service in order to gain authorization to spend and bill for reimbursement from FEMA.
We have ordered a few thousand more people, thru our mechanism by which we provide firefighter manpower, to conduct the operation on the ground. Our goal is to complete the mission within 30 days of now. Remains have been identified for all seven astronauts and the operation is now focused on sensitive equipment.
Our people are finding a lot – a lot of material. You know those tiles they use on the Shuttle – best insulating material in the world (literally). When I think of them, I figure the Shuttle must be pretty heavy. I think of a ceramic type material. Nope. They are more like styrofoam. They are so light, they float on water.

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