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AMC continues to deliver in support of Haiti earthquake relief operations

by Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

1/17/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Since relief operations began Jan. 13, AMC aircraft have delivered more than 340 passengers and 323 tons of emergency cargo to Haiti. During the past 24 hours, efforts have primarily focused on delivering FEMA teams; deployable joint command and control teams; and U.S. Soldiers.

At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 14, the first of several C-17 Globemaster III missions departed the base in support of Haiti relief operations. The aircraft - which included 21 passengers and six crew members - consisted primarily of members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing. The CRW personnel - along with 44 tons of equipment - were transported to Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Haiti. There the team joined 13 other unit members who were diverted from an exercise in Mississippi and arrived in Haiti earlier the same day.

"It takes teamwork and combined efforts in the face of a tragedy of this magnitude," said Col. Hoot Hollrah, 817th Contingency Response Group commander. The 817th CRG is an element of the 621st CRW. "This is what we are trained to do and it's what we do well. We respond rapidly and effectively in hopes we can alleviate unnecessary suffering and provide a platform for further relief efforts."

The 621st CRW is on the ground in Haiti coordinating airport and command and control operations and enabling the delivery of vital emergency response personnel and humanitarian equipment and supplies.

In addition to transporting personnel and cargo to Haiti, Joint Base MDL welcomed more than 250 evacuees from Haiti Jan. 15.

The base is facilitating support efforts with various governmental and civilian organizations to ensure the evacuees are properly cared for. The team has provided food, clothing, medical care and transportation to assist evacuees until they reach their final destinations.

"Our only focus is taking care of the immediate needs of these people," said Col. Joe Poth, deputy joint base commander. "The military is uniquely qualified and organized to do these types of evacuation and humanitarian operations. With the various organizations that are assisting us, we are doing the very best we can to help in light of this terrible tragedy."

AMC aircraft and personnel were first called into action Jan. 13.

The first AMC mission -- a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. -- transported an Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and 82,600 pounds of equipment to Haiti Jan. 13. The mission also included a three-person Security Forces team to provide aircrew and aircraft security.

Other earlier AMC missions included a C-17 from Dover AFB, Del., and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Pope AFB, N.C., and Little Rock AFB, Ark.

The Little Rock aircraft -- assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron -- picked up passengers and cargo in Gulf Port, Miss., and delivered them to Haiti.

On Jan. 14, a C-130 Hercules assigned to the 440th Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, transported 61 Soldiers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Soldiers were assigned to Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division.

"Primarily, this group of Soldiers will be performing airfield security," said Maj. Ryan Consie, an aircraft commander with the 440th AW. "Right now, because of the crisis, there is a lot of chaos in Port-au-Prince. In order to perform further humanitarian effort, we needed to provide more security.

"When we were down there, there was a lot of commotion," he added. "[Delivering these Soldiers] was a key step for us to provide food, water and other humanitarian relief functions in the future."

The relief efforts provided by Pope and Fort Bragg were accomplished by a combined effort of the 43rd Airlift Wing, 440th AW and 82nd Airborne.

"It felt good to be able to help the people of Haiti," said Staff Sgt. Dale Etter, 2nd AS, C-130 Crew Chief. "I'm sure the people and supplies we brought down there will be a big help to the relief efforts."

AMC aircraft and personnel continue to support Haiti relief operations and stand ready to respond immediately.

In fact, the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center - in close coordination with U.S. Transportation Command and U.S. Southern Command - is working around-the-clock, posturing air mobility forces to respond effectively, and planning and managing the missions as a coordinated effort. This is in addition to its continuing mission to support Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As AMC's hub for global operations, the 618th TACC leads mission planning and command-and-control for the AMC portion of the humanitarian effort. The Center plans, schedules and directs a fleet of nearly 1,300 mobility aircraft in support of strategic airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation operations around the world.



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