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374th Air Expeditionary Wing stands up in Thailand

by 2nd. Lt. Ben Sakrisson
U.S Forces Japan Public Affairs

1/10/2005 - UTAPAO, Thailand (AFPN)  -- Air Force officials stood up the 374th Air Expeditionary Wing here Jan. 6 to help fly humanitarian supplies to people affected by tsunamis in December that resulted in wide-scale destruction in South Asia.

The 374th AEW supports and is collocated with Combined Support Force 536 and provides airlift capability to the operation. The wing enables large amounts of humanitarian supplies to be delivered very rapidly, officials said.

Col. Mark Schissler commands the 374th AEW, which will ultimately be comprised of 32 aircraft and hundreds of Airmen.

"The huge capability of the 374th AEW to provide airlift and relief helps to stop the suffering and death of those afflicted by the tsunamis," he said. "The standup of the 374th AEW at Utapao is evidence that our Air Force is fully expeditionary. Airmen are creating order out of chaos and saving lives."

U.S. Special Operations Command forces are also providing support to operations at hard-to-reach locations, which further augments the ability to deliver aid to those in need.

Despite the vast organizational structure that the 374th AEW encompasses, what matters is not to develop a perfect organization, but that the maximum amount of aid is delivered to those in need, Colonel Schissler said.

American servicemembers are providing support as requested by many countries in the Indian Ocean area. Many other organizations and nations have contributed help as well.

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