HomeNewsArticle Display

C-17 crew members reflect on Philippine relief efforts

More than 670 Tacloban residents sit on board a C-17 Globemaster III before being evacuated to Manila following Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines Nov. 17, 2013. The C-17 is deployed from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to Clark Air Base in the Philippines in support of Operation Damayan, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort. In addition to the safe transport of the passengers, the Hickam based crew also successfully delivered more than 100,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Ramon Brockington)

More than 670 Tacloban residents sit on board a C-17 Globemaster III before being evacuated to Manila following Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines Nov. 17, 2013. The C-17 is deployed from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to Clark Air Base in the Philippines in support of Operation Damayan, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort. In addition to the safe transport of the passengers, the Hickam based crew also successfully delivered more than 100,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Ramon Brockington)

Displaced residents from Tacloban, Philippines, exit a C-17 Globemaster III after being evacuated to Manila Nov. 17, 2013 during Operation Damayan. The aircrew, deployed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, aided in the successful rescue of 1,177 evacuees while flying humanitarian missions in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort following Super Typhoon Haiyan. The 535th Airlift Squadron C-17 is one of two deployed to the region. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Ramon Brockington)

Displaced residents from Tacloban, Philippines, exit a C-17 Globemaster III after being evacuated to Manila Nov. 17, 2013 during Operation Damayan. The aircrew, deployed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, aided in the successful rescue of 1,177 evacuees while flying humanitarian missions in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief effort following Super Typhoon Haiyan. The 535th Airlift Squadron C-17 is one of two deployed to the region. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Ramon Brockington)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) --

Days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippine's eastern seaboard Nov. 8, C-17 Globemaster III crews from the 535th Airlift Squadron here, began flying sorties in and out of the hardest hit areas as part of Operation Damayan.

Tacloban, the capital city of the Philippine Province Leyte, served as a staging area for international relief efforts, receiving more than 2,080 tons of food, water, machinery and other supplies from Pacific Air Force's aircraft. The aircraft also carried displaced people from Tacloban to Manila.

Capt. Michael Hank, of the 535th AS and the aircraft commander of the first C-17 to touch down in Tacloban, said this was an operation that will always stand out to him.

"Relief efforts like this are all about helping others out the way we would want to be helped in our time of need," Hank said. "Our C-17 crew was just a small part of the effort."

Hank and his crew flew 40 sorties in and out of the affected areas, evacuating thousands of people from the hardest hit areas to Manila, where evacuation centers were established.

"I can remember flying in and seeing (what seemed like) 20,000 people at the gates of the flight line waiting to get out of there," he said. "Many of the people we were flying out were women, children and the elderly, so it made it challenging sometimes."

Sometimes the crew members had to do things that they wouldn't normally do on other missions.   

"Me and a couple other guys on the crew had to carry some elderly women onto the aircraft; I couldn't speak their language and they couldn't speak mine," Hank said. "We sat them in their seats and buckled them in. The lady I carried looked at me with a smile on her face, put her hand on my face and kissed me on the cheek, and you just know that is a universal 'thank you.'"

Cargo pallets, heavy machinery, all-terrain vehicles, water purification units and first-aid supplies are just some of the relief items flown in to the area.

Senior Airman Dylan Porras, a C-17 loadmaster with the 535th AS, was on a different crew for Operation Damayan, but flew similar sorties in, out and around the country.

"It's great to see that the Air Force has the opportunity and manpower to help the Philippines, and the fact that we help makes me feel good to do what I do," Porras said. "Not everyone has the opportunity to participate in this (operation), so I'm glad I could help,"

Engage

Twitter
An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron takes off during Exercise WestPac Rumrunner @KadenaAirBase. Te… https://t.co/h79oP3cNwH
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Airmen from the 423rd Security Forces Squadron, @501CSW, were introduced to the M18 SIG Sauer Modular Handgun System & wer…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “This might be the next greatest generation. Every one of them joined the service while the nation was at war, and their in…
Twitter
From the ground or air, @AFGlobalStrike and its highly dedicated and trained #Airmen remain at the ready to ensure… https://t.co/QhI4R7R7l7
Twitter
Today we're wishing the @USCG a Happy Birthday! #SemperParatus #AlwaysReady https://t.co/LEmZDsdsgZ
Twitter
We call it Hercules for a reason. The C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everythi… https://t.co/WucTjXL4tg
Twitter
Maj. Brad Short, who is assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, won 2nd place @AFWERX after pitching W… https://t.co/nv9U6tXad1
Twitter
Two U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs release countermeasure flares over @USAFCENT. The A-10 is a highly accurate… https://t.co/ispk4oQJqF
Twitter
A "zero-day" is a computer-software vulnerability that is unaddressed by the system's operator. The Cyber Resilienc… https://t.co/GjaOQ24QQq
Twitter
“This might be the next greatest generation. Every one of them joined the service while the nation was at war, and… https://t.co/6mnIBq70Vg
Twitter
379th Expeditonary Medical Group personnel conduct training @GrandSlamWing. It helps keep them proficient in rende… https://t.co/Jy6ZPe78jF
Twitter
A B-1B Lancer from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, disembarks after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stra… https://t.co/8abNzzet9S
Twitter
The primary mission of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations int… https://t.co/HGWswnWFgN
Twitter
U.S. Air Force Airmen stationed @Spangdahlem_AB used their fire fighting training to rescue a vehicle incident vict… https://t.co/nJqd8SyuhC
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein was honored in a July 31 ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., & in the ann… https://t.co/vsIyEz2wDM
Twitter
Chief Master Sgt. Rick Cumbo has flown in at least one hurricane every year since 1999, with the exception of 2013… https://t.co/cLzEnyqYor
Twitter
To view the Dept. of the Air Force Arctic Strategy, visit: https://t.co/0IBosTXh8S https://t.co/5z7wyrv5EO
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @AZNationalGuard partnered with the Whiteriver Indian Health Services Unit to provide free #COVID19 testing for White…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @WVNationalGuard is standardizing COVID-19 testing procedures to keep both patients and front line workers safe. #InT
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
1,262,637
Follow Us