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Peninsula warriors contribute to Haiti relief efforts

by Airman 1st Class Jason J. Brown
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/21/2010 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Airmen from the 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Langley AFB and Soldiers from Fort Eustis, Va., and Fort Lee, N.J., loaded vehicles, equipment and aid supplies aboard a C-17 Globemaster III bound for Haiti Jan. 19 as part of Operation Unified Response.

U.S. Transportation Command officials tasked Air Mobility Command units nationwide to accomplish airlift support operations to Haiti; the aircraft is the sixth C-17 633rd LRS Airmen have loaded with supplies and personnel.

Fifteen logistics journeymen worked 12-hour shifts to load more than 82,000 pounds of equipment, including generators, water and MREs, onto a cargo aircraft from the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Del.

So far, 633rd LRS Airmen have loaded more than 500,000 pounds of equipment and supplies in support of Haitian earthquake relief.

Staff Sgt. Tim Brady, a 633rd LRS air transportation craftsman, used experience he gained while assisting in the 2004 Indonesian tsunami relief efforts to help maximize productivity on the flightline, getting aircraft loaded and airborne quickly.

In addition to experience, Sergeant Brady also credited the Joint Base Langley-Eustis initiative, scheduled for a Jan. 29 Initial Operational Capability, for increasing communication between Airmen and Soldiers working together in the efforts.

"The joint basing rolled out the welcome mat for our Army colleagues, and it couldn't have come at a better time," he said.

He called the synergy between Airmen and Soldiers "excellent," noting the latest aircraft was loaded in a mere 2 hours, 52 minutes.

Fort Eustis deployed personnel from its 688th Rapid Port Opening Element to establish expedited logistic support for aid to reach victims of the earthquake.

"Our job is to open up a port to be able to bring in and transport equipment to allow other units to get their equipment in," said U.S. Army Sgt. Jerome Jefferson, of the 688th RPOE.

The crew onboard also included supply and mortuary affairs personnel from 49th Quartermaster Group, 111th Quartermaster Company at Fort Lee.

"We're sending a seven-man team down to assist with the earthquake operation to best assess how we can implement and conduct search and recovery for remains," said Army Sgt. Richard Bailey, of the 49th QG.

"Every plane is flying out at maximum capacity," said Army Sgt. Perry Burtus, of the 164th Terminal Supervision Team.

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