HomeNewsArticle Display

Airmen load, airlift fire truck 3,700 miles to Nicaragua

Loadmasters with the 439th Airlift Wing, load a 1982 Mack fire truck onto a C-5B Galaxy at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst New Jersey, on Aug. 12, 2016. The truck will be flown to Managua, Nicaragua. Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was instrumental in getting the truck donated to a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua. The 439th AW is located at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Loadmasters with the 439th Airlift Wing load a 1982 Mack fire truck onto a C-5B Galaxy at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Aug. 12, 2016. The truck was flown to Managua, Nicaragua. Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was instrumental in getting the truck donated to a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Olsen)

Loadmasters with the 439th Airlift Wing secure a 1982 Mack  fire truck onto a C-5B Galaxy at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst N.J., on August 12, 2016. The truck will be flown to Managua, Nicaragua. Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a traditional New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was instrumental in getting the truck donated to a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua. The truck donation is done through the Denton Program, which allows U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on military cargo aircraft to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need. The 439th is located at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Loadmasters with the 439th Airlift Wing secure a 1982 Mack fire truck onto a C-5B Galaxy at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Aug. 12, 2016. Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was instrumental in getting the truck donated to a group of volunteer firefighters in Managua, Nicaragua. The truck donation was done through the Denton Program, which allows U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on military cargo aircraft to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Mark Olsen)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (AFNS) -- A New Jersey fire truck recently made a 3,700-mile journey to its new home in Managua, Nicaragua.

The 1982 Mack fire truck was loaded onto a 439th Airlift Wing C-5B Galaxy here Aug. 12, thanks to the combined efforts of Airmen from the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active-duty Air Force, as well as a host of government agencies.

It wasn't an easy task, and it took an individual to recognize a country’s need for that fire truck and pursue it to make it a reality.

Master Sgt. Jorge A. Narvaez, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman with the 108th Security Forces Squadron, was responsible for getting that fire truck sent to Nicaragua.

Narvaez, who is originally from Nicaragua, came to the United States in 1981 and has served with the Princeton Police Department in New Jersey as a patrolman for 22 years. He joined the 108th Wing in October 1992 and in 1999, he transferred to security forces, where he serves on the commander's support staff.

“I’ve always felt compelled to help; it fulfills me as a human being, trying to make a difference,” Narvaez said.

In 2014, Narvaez traveled to Nicaragua. While he was there, he visited the headquarters of the Benemerito Cuerpo de Bomberos, a group of volunteer firefighters located in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

“I saw that they were in dire need of serviceable fire trucks and equipment,” Narvaez said. “I offered to help and get them assistance in the United States. I explained to them that I couldn’t make any promises, but that I would try to do my best.”

Narvaez talked to Ray Wadsworth, the former fire chief of Mercer Engine No. 3 in Princeton, New Jersey, and was able to get some coats, boots and hoses that had been slated for replacement. Like their counterparts in Nicaragua, the Princeton firefighters are also volunteers.

The Nicaraguan firefighters were grateful for the donated gear, but their need for a new truck remained. In 2015, an opportunity presented itself.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration informed Mercer Engine No. 3 members that they would have to replace two of their fire trucks. One of them, a 1982 Mack 1250 GPM pumper truck, could no longer be used because the open cab was considered a safety hazard.

“Mr. Wadsworth felt that one of the trucks could be donated,” Narvaez said. “We began to work together and doing all that was required to get the truck from the city.”

To get the ball rolling, Narvaez sent a letter to Robert Gregory, Princeton’s director of emergency services, explaining how the retired truck could be put to good use in Latin America. Princeton officials responded by putting the truck up for a symbolic auction.

“They sold it to me for a dollar,” Wadsworth said.

In addition to the truck, 13 sets of boots, six jackets, and 1,200 feet of 2 ½-inch hose were included.

“The truck is fully equipped; all it needs is for the tank to be filled with water,” Wadsworth said.

Narvaez added, “I also took a video of the truck … giving directions on how to operate it.”

But one can’t just donate a fire truck to another country. There’s a process for it, and it involves the Denton Program.

The Denton Program, which is jointly administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, allows U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on military cargo aircraft to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need.

Former U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton created the program as an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Since 1998, more than 5.6 million pounds of humanitarian supplies have been sent to more than 50 countries.

What followed was a flurry of activity as Narvaez made contact with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Managua and Air Force officials who would arrange for the truck’s 3,700-mile journey. The sign things were moving along came when he was put in touch with Chief Master Sgt. Juan Claudio of the 514th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, who went to Princeton to get the truck’s measurements and provide guidance on getting it ready for flight.

The only thing left was the letter of approval -- the airlift certification letter.

It came on June 3.

The letter assigned the 439th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, with airlifting the fire truck on one of their C-5 Galaxy aircraft.

On Aug. 12, all the work by Narvaez and Claudio, along with others and their organizations, came together.

For Narvaez, there is one final takeaway from this.

“I want Airmen to see this and know that they can do this as well,” Narvaez said. “There are many countries in the world that can use our help and there are always things you can do to help people.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Celebrating 74 years of @USAirForce Airmen breaking barriers and defending the high ground. Thank you to all #Airmen, past…
Twitter
The Air Force has a 74-year success record in airpower, and all #Airmen—past and present—play an important role in… https://t.co/DroXtLgOLv
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Happy 74th birthday to our great Air Force! https://t.co/xjRXwISSxK
Twitter
Special tactics Airmen assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing, @AFSpecOpsCmd, concluded their response to aug… https://t.co/QAgSEOKdbB
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Happy 74th Birthday @USAirForce. We have come a long way and will continue to fly, fight, and win…#Airpower #AnytimeAnywh
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: For 74 years, the @usairforce has been protecting our skies and defending our nation. Happy birthday, #AirForce! https:…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on the @USAirForce's birthday: "You’ve built a proud legacy over the decades -- the future wi…
Twitter
USAF tradition calls for the most junior ranking Airman and most senior ranking Airman present to cut the birthday… https://t.co/c6COZ5fcvf
Twitter
Today is our 74th Birthday! From humble beginnings in 1947, we stand on the shoulders of great Airmen who have hel… https://t.co/Y5l4gnGiBp
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Meet MSgt Aldrian Byrd. He led security operations in support of Operation Allies Refuge at Ramstein AB and ensured the s…
Twitter
In partnership with the @AFResearchLab's Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation directorate,… https://t.co/NgCL6CkPVJ
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The @USAirForce was established Sept. 18, 1947 by that year's National Security Act. To kick-off the service's formal bi…
Twitter
.@AFWERX Agility Prime partner, Moog Aircraft Group, has created a prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing… https://t.co/j8GTzog2bJ
Twitter
Three C-130s flying sorties from McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento County, CA, are performing an aerial firef… https://t.co/77dTFbhjXI
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message prior to the @USAirForce's 74th birthday: "Our Airmen serve around the globe, always ready to de…
Twitter
Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day. We recognize the more than half-million service members who have, at one time, be… https://t.co/txZ2zTxlm0
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Innovation depends on both creativity and support to turn concepts into reality. It requires courage, and rewards tenacit…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Partnerships are fundamental to executing the mission. Working with and learning from our partner nations @NATO -- togeth…
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: The 2021 #ENJJPT Steering Committee is happening at @SheppardAFB this week! Excited to continue our partnership to deliver…
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
1,376,499
Follow Us