Manas C-17 crews help Americans depart Lebanon

  • Published
  • By Capt. Anna Carpenter
  • 376th Air Expeditionary Wing PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The C-17 Globemaster III detachment here recently had a name change and change of scenery.

The 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron's detachment used to be Detachment 4, but due to a reorganization of the theater's airlift placement, is now Detachment 1.

Det.1's primary mission is flying passengers and cargo into Operation Enduring Freedom's area of operations. Though usually flying folks downrange, they proved they are just as capable of flying people out of harm's way.

Two crews from Det.1 joined the assisted departure of Americans from Lebanon in Cyprus.

One crew, led by aircraft commander Capt. Lauren Palagi, flew from Manas to Cyprus to pick up the Americans from Lebanon July 23. The other crew went to supplement the 817 EAS fleet at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

More than 100 passengers who had arrived in Cyprus via sealift flew to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in the Manas crew's care.

"It was nice to show that no matter how busy we are fighting in the war on terror there is still time to help our fellow Americans," said Capt. Warren Halle, a Det. 1 pilot on the mission.

The American citizens from Lebanon are also being flown back to the United States from Ramstein and Incirlik on C-17s.

The significance of their efforts was not lost on the Manas-based crew.

"This was an extremely important mission, especially to rescue the women, children and elderly from this short notice conflict that destroyed many of their homes," said Staff Sgt. Larcario Tufts, the detachment's instructor loadmaster.