Pope, Bragg provide key step in Haiti humanitarian relief|
by Senior Airman Kris Levasseur
43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
1/17/2010 - POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) -- A combined aircrew from the Air Force Reserve Command's 440th Airlift Wing and the active-duty 43rd AW here departed Pope AFB on a C-130 Hercules Jan. 14 transporting approximately 61 Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The mission was to deliver the Soldiers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help support relief operations after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation Jan 12.
"Primarily this group of Soldiers will be performing airfield security," said Maj. Ryan Consie, a pilot 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 the security forces) was a key step for us to provide food, water and other humanitarian relief functions in the future."
Other capabilities that may be provided by Pope AFB Airmen in the future are aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, cargo transportation and additional security details.
"It felt good to be able to help the people of Haiti," said Staff Sgt. Dale Etter, a C-130 crew chief with the 43rd AW. "I'm sure the people and supplies we brought down there will be a big help to the relief efforts."
All of the personnel deploying are dedicated and ready to carry out the mission, regardless of the challenges, the major said.
"We had a lot of challenges flying into Port-au-Prince, such as congested air space and limited communications, but our crew worked well together to get the mission accomplished," Major Consie said.