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Air Force continues aid to Pakistan

10/13/2005 - SAN ANTONIO -- Oct. 12 marked the fourth straight day the Air Force airlifted aid into the devastated region of Pakistan.

Four U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and two C-130 Hercules aircraft transported more than 408,000 pounds, including more than 60 pallets loaded with supplies like tents, cots and meals-ready-to-eat.

Additional cargo included vehicles, temporary basing supplies, and command and control equipment to aid in coordination efforts as the United States continues to airlift aid in response to requests from Pakistan’s government.

“Our Airmen are working very hard to provide relief and supplies to the people of Pakistan,” said Lt. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, U.S. Central Command Air Forces commander. “They are ready to meet the needs of this unfolding crisis and simultaneously sustain ongoing operations around the world.”

The magnitude 7.6 quake, on Oct. 8, was the most powerful to hit the country in its 58-year history. It has taken an estimated 40,000 lives. The United Nations estimates it displaced another 2.5 million people.

On Oct. 10, Air Mobility Command told the 621st Contingency Response Wing at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., to be the first command resource to deploy in support of earthquake relief operations.

The command is planning many more humanitarian relief missions into Pakistan, according to Col. Diane Byrne, a tanker airlift control center senior controller. Cargo aircraft are scheduled to deliver about two dozen Army CH-47 Chinooks within the next few days, she said. Three Army installations are providing the helicopters. The CH-47 is a twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter designed to transport people and cargo. Each CH-47 is about 50-feet long and can carry about 33 passengers and three crew members.

Delivering the large helicopters will require creative planning and numerous missions, according to Colonel Byrne. A group of TACC planners gathered Oct. 10 to develop and propose a plan to deliver the large helicopters. A C-5 Galaxy -- the Air Force's largest transport aircraft -- can carry two CH-47s, while the C-17 Globemaster can carry one.

Command officials said, aircrews and Airmen in vital support roles remain ready to assist with humanitarian efforts in Pakistan as long as required. Pakistan has shown solidarity and unwavering partnership in the global war on terror, and U.S. air forces in the region stand ready to answer in the nation’s time of need.(Compiled from a U.S. Central Command and Air Mobility reports)

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