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AMC Airmen critical to Operation Unified Response assisting Haiti earthquake victims

Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

1/17/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- As Air Mobility Command continues to support the U.S. military's Haitian relief effort, Operation Unified Response, senior officials are laying out a map to establish long-term sustainment and international collaboration.

Since Jan. 13, AMC Airmen have completed nearly 100 aircraft sorties; transported nearly 1,200 passengers and flown more than 600 short tons of emergency cargo to the devastated country.

As the United States works with its global partners to define ways to expand the reach of humanitarian aid in Haiti, AMC Airmen and aircraft continue to speed around the clock to provide food, shelter and security to the victims.

On Saturday, Airmen flying C-17 Globemaster IIIs transported an 80-member urban search and rescue team en route to Port-au-Prince to save people who are still trapped under debris.

The highly-trained team includes volunteer rescuers from Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Like hundreds thus far, the team depended on the C-17's unique capabilities to get them there quickly and safely, along with the nearly 60 tons of cargo they took with them.

The Ohio Task Force One team's cargo included six rescue canines; four pickup trucks with trailers; a van; and 19 pallets of cargo holding supplies such as concrete-busting hammers and enough water and food to last for approximately 10 days.

"It's definitely an honor to be called upon to represent your country and to help those in desperate need," said Scott Anding, sponsoring agency chief for Ohio Task Force One. "We really appreciate the Air Force's support."

Additionally, military and non-governmental organizations in Haiti are to receive improved communications after a Joint Communications Support Element arrived at Port-au-Prince aboard a C-17 Saturday.

The communications team is comprised of personnel from active duty, Guard and Reserve squadrons -- exhibiting today's typical Air Force "total force" model.

Members of the C-17 aircrew that transported the communications crew knew in advance that they could participate in the mission.

"I have been watching to see if and when we would be called, and I knew that this might be our mission when I saw it in the system," said Capt. Jim F. McCann, the C-17 aircraft commander. "We train to do this and jump at the chance to help the people of Haiti any way we can."

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

The first AMC mission aboard a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., transported an urban search and rescue task force and 82,000 pounds of equipment to Haiti. The mission also included a three-person security forces team to provide aircrew and aircraft security.

On Jan. 14, a C-130 Hercules assigned to Pope AFB, N.C., transported 61 Soldiers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Soldiers were assigned to Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division and were sent to primarily perform airfield security.

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