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Naval Station Rota Plays Role in Delivering Humanitarian Relief

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051021-06
Release Date: 10/21/2005 1:07:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW) Robert Garnand, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- The Sailors and Airmen of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, along with Spanish nationals, worked to transfer U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters to Pakistan Oct. 15, to help in supporting earthquake relief efforts there.

The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) started bringing in the helicopters on their C-5 Galaxy aircraft from various U.S. bases.

The CH-47s were then offloaded and moved aboard the AMC’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft. The C-17s would then deliver the CH-47s to Pakistan to be used in a multinational humanitarian assistance and support effort, providing aid to victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake.

One aspect of NAVSTA Rota’s mission is to provide support for the safe and efficient movement of U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force flights and passengers. Due to its location at the halfway point between the United States and Southwest Asia, Rota was the ideal location to support AMC units transiting through the theater to fulfill this mission.

Another aspect of NAVSTA Rota’s mission is to provide support and work together with other branches of the service, as well as U.S. allies.

“The 725th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) greatly appreciates the cooperation and assistance we’ve received from ‘Team Rota,’” said Air Force Maj. Beth Parker, 725th AMS operations officer. “Air Ops, Security, NEMOC, Interjet, Fuels, Housing, Supply and VQ-2 have all played major roles in moving the Army crews and their CH-47s through the naval station to the devastated areas in Pakistan."

“Moron Air Base is also playing a big role by temporarily taking over some of our normal air traffic to allow us to focus on earthquake relief,” Parker added. “We expect these operations to go on for approximately two weeks, but we’ll be working 24/7 as long as we’re needed to help.”

Air Force Capt. Matt Walsh, a C-5 pilot with AMC, said, “Rota is a normal stop for us in the C-5 community, so this is really nice to be able to help out in a way that I don’t normally. I’m used to helping out in the war effort, but not in a humanitarian effort. It’s just a good feeling.”

Storekeeper 2nd Class (SW) Terrence McGhee of NAVSTA Rota’s Supply Department, said, “Everybody’s doing a great job out here providing support, and they’re doing a professional job. I’m glad I was a part of it.”

Army Specialist Jeremiah Peryam of Bravo Co., 2nd Battalion, 227 Aviation, 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, is a CH-47 flight engineer. Peryam, who will be going on to Pakistan, said, “I’ve been waiting to go. We provided relief support for hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Now we’re going to move food, water and equipment.”

The CH-47 is a twin-engine, tandem rotor helicopter designed to transport personnel and cargo. Each CH-47 is about 50 feet long and can carry about 33 passengers and three crew members. The Chinooks will be used to ferry recovery personnel, food, water and medical supplies to various areas, many in Pakistan’s mountainous Himalayan region.

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