HomeNewsArticle Display

USTRANSCOM assists in return of Americans stranded abroad due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) --

Since its formation on March 27, the U.S. Transportation Command’s Repatriation Coordination Cell organized the stateside return of more than 3,900 Americans stranded abroad due to tightened COVID-19 travel limitations imposed by numerous countries.

Supporting the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to bring American citizens home as the pandemic spread across the globe, the USTRANSCOM unit, contracted 14 separate commercial charter airlift missions, transporting thousands back to the U.S. from five different African and Asian nations.

The process to achieve these repatriations began with the command’s cell receiving a request from DOS’ Repatriation Task Force. Following validation of DOS’ requirement, they verified the number of passengers and provided the information to USTRANSCOM’s directorate of acquisition for commercial air carrier response. Next, after confirming mission details with DOS, the cell, composed of a dozen core members, submitted the finalized package to USTRANSCOM’s air component, Air Mobility Command’s 618th Air Operations Center, for further synchronization with the contracted charter airlift.

“Leading the cell has been a unique and rewarding experience, as I had not worked with the command’s directorate of acquisition or any of the commercial air carriers before. I also learned how DOS attacks problems from the whole-of-government approach,” said Army Col. Aaron Angell, Joint Operational Support Airlift Center Division, USTRANSCOM’s Operations Directorate chief. “During the cell’s seven-week existence, our priority was administrative oversight of the command’s repatriation operations, as well as to serve as a link between USTRANSCOM and DOS.”

During the workweek, the cell normally operated from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., but also executed its duties on the weekend, when required. To ensure unity of effort, they participated in two daily teleconferences – morning and afternoon – with DOS’ transportation cell and attended another midday phone session with USTRANSCOM. A majority of the cell’s primary participants also continued to serve in their regular jobs, and in this capacity, they provided the expertise and experience for the command’s assistance to DOS.

“USTRANSCOM’s (repatriation coordination cell) quickly formed with command and AMC professionals who provided DOS with responsive commercial airlift supporting movement from different parts of the globe,” said Air Force Maj. Christopher Moyano, Commercial Industry Branch, USTRANSCOM’s Operations Directorate. “The combined efforts of USTRANSCOM, AMC, DOS, and the commercial industry saw the safe return of over 3,900 Americans on chartered airlifts, overcoming an unprecedented restricted environment.”

USTRANSCOM-contracted, commercial charter airlift supporting DOS’ repatriation endeavors consisted of Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Omni Air International. Occasionally, the command’s cell also organized military aircraft transport of Americans from overseas locations. To date, approximately 522 U.S. citizens returned to the U.S. via gray-tail opportune airlift.

“The emerging requirements associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic highlighted the importance of USTRANSCOM’s long-standing relationship with U.S.-flagged, Civil Reserve Air Fleet carriers and also showcased their unmatched flexibility and keen responsiveness throughout,” said Army Maj. Keith Shanklin, Commercial Industry Branch, USTRANSCOM’s Operations Directorate.

Throughout April 2020, commercial airlift missions, administered by USTRANSCOM’s cell, departed from Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria; Yangon, Myanmar; Dakar, Senegal; Dhaka, Bangladesh; as well as Islamabad and Karachi, Pakistan, transporting 3,915 Americans and lawful permanent residents to Dulles International Airport, Virginia.

“DOS undertook a herculean effort to repatriate tens of thousands of Americans, and working with them to do our part was rewarding. This experience showed how quickly the team of professionals at USTRANSCOM can adapt operations to support another agency’s effort,” Angell said. “This team of teams came together and accomplished the mission despite the challenges of operating in a COVID-19 environment.”

USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, USTRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the joint force, advances American interests around the globe and provides the nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options, while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.

Engage

Twitter
Have you identified an #Airman who you believe is thinking about suicide? Use the Ask, Care, Escort Principles as… https://t.co/gWsxvJW9E8
Twitter
"Your best, today, is enough." - CMSgt Mary Polanco, AF Resilience Directorate senior enlisted advisor. #vASC2020https://t.co/8Bp4RCx4vc
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial announced a new weapon system designator - the eSeries. #vASC2020 https://t.co/1uavZSZVeq
Twitter
RT @DoDCTO: The @DeptofDefense Strategic Capabilities Office Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System shot down a cruise missile target during a Sep…
Twitter
CMSAF #14 Gerald R. Murray & CMSgt Brian P. Jruzelnick, @AirMobilityCmd command chief, discuss how to lead during a… https://t.co/kcDunDdkrK
Twitter
Department of the Air Force spouse leaders discussed the new ops normal for families. They also highlighted the dif… https://t.co/h5acINQj38
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: Leaping from the automotive industry to Next Generation Air Dominance, digital engineering creates digital magic for our mil…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Big thanks to Team 19, Max Impact for the dinner performance, ours gracious hosts from AFA, and ALL the Airmen behind t…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: “A reach-for-the-stars mindset is critical not because it produces history makers, but because it drives airmen to become…
Twitter
The Dept. of the Air Force is investing in groundbreaking capabilities. #vASC2020 #AimHigh @SecAFOfficial https://t.co/DFCrftck9W
Twitter
Digital engineering is the future of the Air Force #vASC2020 #InnovativeAF #AimHigh @SecAFOfficial https://t.co/uf5LiV3q85
Twitter
"Cooperating with allies and partners is the best way to help others attain and retain their freedom." -… https://t.co/gkyMGjj62i
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@144thFW medical strike team members responded in record time to provide first aid support for more than 200 #CreekFire
Twitter
The first Air Force aircraft designed using the digital approach, the eT-7A Red Hawk, embraced model-based engineer… https://t.co/oD9bQ604Jo
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: In addition to the content available from the @AirForceAssoc #vASC2020 events, the @PolarInstitute is hosting a discussi…
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial recognizes the past and looks forward to the future during her address at the @AirForceAssoc’s Air,… https://t.co/TNi7VrDrNV
Twitter
“To inspire companies to embrace the possibilities presented by digital engineering, today the Department of the Ai… https://t.co/g9f9SrNUVG
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: More information on the event and the lineup of speakers: https://t.co/Wdlkk8Rrcg
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
1,277,524
Follow Us