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Airmen deploy to Philippines in support of Operation Damayan

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) --

The 374th Airlift Wing here deployed a C-130 Hercules aircraft Nov. 13, in support of Operation Damayan.  

Operation Damayan is a U.S. humanitarian aid and disaster relief effort in the Philippines, in the wake of the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

The aircraft carried a full complement of crew members and aircraft maintenance personnel and stopped at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Nov. 14, to pick up supplies and personnel destined for the typhoon-stricken area.

"(Yokota AB) stands beside the people of the Philippines," said Col. Clarence Lukes, the 374th Airlift Wing vice commander. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as we airlift aid to restore stability and normalcy to those affected in the region."

The C-130 is a heavy cargo and personnel transport that is capable of operating in the most austere environments. It is capable of airdropping loads up to 42,000 pounds. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor-loaded material, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and aeromedical evacuation equipment.

"Our personnel are trained and ready to support disaster relief operations," Lukes said.

A 12-member assessment team from the 36th Contingency Response Group joined the Airmen from Yokota AB. They will determine if the Tacloban airfield in the Philippines is able to receive follow on aircraft, particularly, C-17 Globemaster IIIs. They also delivered two Humvees and two all-terrain vehicles to help assess the airfield.

 (Information courtesy of 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Pacific Command Public Affairs and 36th Wing Public Affairs)

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