Tech. Sgt. Wayne Pennington helps control airflow traffic at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. An influx of aircraft are operating out of the base to assist with the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Sergeant Pennington is from the 512th Airlift Control Flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)
Col. Todd Wall holds a Haitian baby for a mother who was asleep from exhaustion Jan. 21, 2010, at Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Colonel Wall is a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson)
A C-17 Globemaster III delivers pallets of water and food Jan. 21, 2010, over Mirebalais, Haiti, to be distributed by members of the United Nations. Department of Defense assets have been deployed to assist in the Haiti relief effort following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that that struck the country Jan. 12, 2010. The aircraft is from the 437th Air Wing out of Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. (DoD photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force)
A C-17 Globemaster III from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., lands at the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport Jan. 24, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Department of Defense and U.S. Agency for International Development officials are conducting relief efforts in the area following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)
by Capt. Jon Stock
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
2/18/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- One day after an earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti Jan. 12, Air Mobility Command Airmen along with its total force partners began operations to support the crippled nation.
Since Operation Unified Relief operations launched, more than 10,000 AMC active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units around the globe have responded in support of the humanitarian mission.
"The support Air Mobility Command (Airmen) provided, and continue to provide, after the earthquake in Haiti has been the largest, most concentrated disaster response I've seen in my 25-year Air Force career," said Col. Brian Reno, the director of the 618th TACC's Contingency Response Cell for Operation Unified Response. "The Contingency Response Cell was running for 30 days straight, which is the longest activation the CRC has seen since Sept. 11, 2001. The men and women of AMC, starting here at the TACC, did a phenomenal job planning, tasking and executing missions to support relief efforts, all while continuing to meet the needs of forces deployed around the world, including those engaged in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom."
AMC Airmen have flown more than 400 missions into Port-au-Prince delivering nearly 6,000 support members and 19 million pounds of cargo. More than 15,000 American citizens have been evacuated by AMC Airmen through the Haitian airfield while 223 Haitian critical patients have been aeromedically evacuated to the United States. More than 30.5 million pounds were offloaded at the aerial port in Haiti by AMC personnel as well.
"During a recent 60-day deployment to the busiest aerial port in Afghanistan, we moved around 80 million pounds of cargo with about 115 aerial porters. That's a lot of weight," said Master Sgt. Shannon Koenigstein, the aerial port lead for the 817th Contingency Response Group. "In our first 10 days on the ground here in Haiti, we had already moved more than 12 million pounds of cargo with 20 porters. The initial pace of operations here were blazing."
AMC air-refueling tankers were also in the relief operations keeping cargo aircraft in the air, flying 40 air-refueling sorties and delivering more than 130,000 gallons of fuel to 45 aircraft.
Additionally, AMC Airmen air delivered more than 246,000 pounds of critical supplies such as water and Meals Ready to Eat through four missions using five aircraft.
"This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," said Col. Patrick Hollrah, the commander of the Joint Task Force-Port Opening air element in Haiti. "For the first couple weeks, this airport was the main hub of humanitarian relief coming into Haiti. The 120 Airmen and 50 Soldiers I had the pleasure of serving with here were the difference between supplies sitting at the airport and supplies flowing out to the people who need them. They made a visible impact on this operation, and they can go home proud of what they were able to accomplish."