1/18/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Airmen from U.S. Southern Command's air component, Air Force South, conducted an air delivery mission Jan. 18 in an effort to provide an alternate distribution point for relief supplies to Haitian earthquake victims. The mission was planned and executed by Airmen at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, 18th Air Force and the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center.
The C-17 Globemaster III, crewed by Airmen from the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, S.C., departed Pope AFB, N.C., and delivered 14,000 Meals Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, and 14,000 quarts of water in the 7-hour round-trip mission to Haiti. To ensure the safety of the Haitian people, servicemembers with Joint Task Force-Haiti secured an area in which to deliver the supplies. Once on the ground, supplies were distributed by JTF-Haiti, USAID and other relief personnel.
One of the greatest challenges in this relief operation has been lack of infrastructure, which has significantly slowed the delivery of supplies and workers to the greatest points of need in Haiti. Air delivery is one of many options the international community is using in order to create alternate distribution points that will enable aid to reach the people more quickly.
Since Jan. 13, Air Mobility Command aircrews have delivered more than 1,500 tons of supplies to the region as part of Operation Unified Response.
1/19/2010 4:39:07 PM ET If you read the article it already says that there was a contingent of personnel on the ground to receive the airdrop and distribute the supplies in a safe and orderly fasion. Please read the article before posting such comments. I am quite sure that the folks in the Air Mobility Command are professionals and know what they are doing.
Chet, Kansas City
1/19/2010 4:33:07 PM ET Small parachute for wide safe distribution can be made by tying plastic bags directly together correctly.
Torsten Mandal, Copenhagen
1/19/2010 12:59:09 PM ET You can't just drop stuff out of the back of a plane without having some way to distribute the supplies after they land. To do so would invite chaos and fights over the supplies.
Donald Branum, Colorado Springs
1/19/2010 12:21:18 PM ET Mr. Graham,Your suggestion was a good one. However I guarantee you that the JTF was thinking and planning for airdrops upon arrival in Haiti. It takes more than just dropping things from aircraft...supplies have to be gathered, containers packed, drop-zones surveyed and secure...which requires personnel to gain access to those sites, coordination on times, dates, altitudes, etc...supplies loaded etc. among a myriad of other things. The result is what we are seeing today...airdrops of supplies...done safely to a surveyed and secure DZs.Yours was a good suggestion but I guarantee it was in the works well over 3 days ago.
James Thede, Nellis AFB
1/19/2010 1:25:12 AM ET I recommended this three days ago in a comment on your web site and you never even published it. Now you folks have finally got around to seeing the value of airdrops. Better late than never I guess- for some people at least.