HomeNewsArticle Display

BEEliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Sarcia, left and Senior Airman Austin Whisler, both 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III loadmasters, offload cargo from a Travis Air Force Base, Calif., C-17 aircraft, Sept. 23, 2017 at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The C-17 delivered 105,000 pounds and 18 pallets of water and MREs to the island after it had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., is loaded with humanitarian aid Sept. 22, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field, Texas. The humanitarian aid was delivered to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands after the island had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., is loaded with humanitarian aid Sept. 22, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field, Texas. The C-17 was loaded with 105,000 pounds of water and MREs that were delivered to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands after the island had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

The view of hurricane damaged St. Croix, Virgin Islands is seen from a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 21st Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Basel, Calif., Sept. 23, 2017. The C-17 delivered 105,000 pounds and 18 pallets of water and MREs to the island after it had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Brackett, 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 instructor pilot, performs a pre-flight check on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., that had been loaded with humanitarian aid Sept. 23, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field, Texas. The humanitarian aid was delivered to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands after the island had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

Beeliners bring humanitarian aid to St. Croix

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., is loaded with humanitarian aid Sept. 22, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field, Texas. The C-17 was loaded with 105,000 pounds of water and meals, ready to eat that were delivered to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands after the island had sustained damage from Hurricane Maria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (AFNS) -- ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (AFNS) – As Army and Marine Corps helicopters delivered humanitarian aid throughout St. Croix, an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from Travis Air Force Base, California, landed Sept. 23, 2017 at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, St. Croix, bringing humanitarian aid to residents affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The C-17 crew assigned to the 21st Airlift Squadron, also known as BEEliners, received the St. Croix humanitarian aid tasking after completing another humanitarian relief mission to Mexico City.

“The two missions on this trip demonstrated our rapid global mobility capabilities,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Costello, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 flying crew chief. “We were able to leave home station in a moment’s notice, make it down to March Air Reserve Base, (California), fuel and load our aircraft and make it all the way down to Mexico City in just one evening.”

At the request of the Mexican government, the crew delivered 67 U.S. Agency for International Development disaster team members and five canines, along with equipment and medical supplies to Mexico’s capital to support search and rescue efforts after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the country Sept. 19.

The C-17 was on its way back to California after leaving Mexico City when the 618th Air Operations Center at Scott AFB, Illinois, contacted the crew with a new tasking in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The 618th AOC coordinates an average of 900 airlift and air refueling missions each day. They can seamlessly redirect aircraft to support requirements for contingency or humanitarian relief operations.

“When we thought we were on our way home, we got an emergency tasking to deliver aid supplies to the people of St. Croix and diverted to Kelly Field (Texas), to be ready to deliver those supplies when the airfield was ready for our aircraft,” said Costello.

When missions change mid-flight, flexibility from the crew can be critical to mission success.

“C-17 crewmembers are used to rapidly changing missions and situations,” said Capt. Whit Gremillion, 21st AS C-17 pilot and mission aircraft commander. “We have to prepare for the worst situations and hope for the best.”

Capt. Kyle Brackett, 21st AS instructor pilot, echoed Gremillion's statement and added, “when changes come up, we deal with them because all of us know how important missions like these are.”

Another critical component of bringing the needed humanitarian aid to those suffering is teamwork.

“The crew working together is essential to mission completion,” said Senior Airman Austin Whisler, 21st AS C-17 loadmaster. “Missions have so many moving pieces. If everyone is not doing their part, it can become chaotic.”

“The mission moves because of our ability to interface as a crew and with agencies on the ground,” said Gremillion. “Without it, we probably would have never gotten out of Travis (AFB) in the first place.”

Utilizing flexibility and teamwork, the aircrew successfully and efficiently brought 105,000 pounds of needed food and water to the residents of the island.

“It feels good knowing that the cargo we delivered will have such a positive impact on the people of St. Croix,” said Costello. “Having been through several severe hurricanes while I was growing up, I certainly understand how the people of St. Croix feel.”

The successful delivery of the disaster team to Mexico and the humanitarian aid to St. Croix, are just a couple of the humanitarian relief missions currently being delivered out of Travis AFB throughout the world.

“It feels incredible to be able to directly impact the lives of so many, missions like this is why I wanted to be a Loadmaster,” said Whisler

Engage

Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,362
Follow Us