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News > McChord Airmen complete second humanitarian airlift to American Samoa
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 A C-17 Globemaster III from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., touched down at Pago Pago International Airport Oct. 10, delivering more than 42,000 pounds of Federal Emergency Management Agency cargo to American Samoa in support of ongoing relief operations.
 The mission was the aircrew's second humanitarian airlift to the Samoan Islands, which were devastated by a tsunami Sept. 29.
 The Airmen also completed a humanitarian airlift mission to Padang, Indonesia, Oct. 9, giving them a total of three humanitarian missions completed in just over a week.
 
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Humanitarian aid
Airmen from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., and Hickam AFB, Hawaii, and Air Mobility Command civilians offload Federal Emergency Management Agency cargo from a McChord C-17 Globemaster III Oct. 10 at Pago Pago International Airport, American Samoa. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Eric Burks)
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McChord Airmen complete second humanitarian airlift to American Samoa

Posted 10/11/2009   Updated 10/15/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Eric Burks
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/11/2009 - PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- A C-17 Globemaster III from McChord Air Force Base, Wash., touched down at Pago Pago International Airport Oct. 10, delivering more than 42,000 pounds of Federal Emergency Management Agency cargo to American Samoa in support of ongoing relief operations.

The mission was the aircrew's second humanitarian airlift to the Samoan Islands, which were devastated by a tsunami Sept. 29.

The aircrew's first mission to Pago Pago Oct. 2 brought nine FEMA members and 17,000 pounds of communications equipment to the island.

The cargo on this flight was 13 pallets of yurt tent kits for Samoan families affect by the tsunami, said Mike McCoy, Logistics Section chief for FEMA here.

The kits give families the means to remain in their villages and begin the recovery process, he said. Approximately 2,000 people from 200 families were on the most recent requirements list.

In addition to the yurt tent and setup materials, kits include cotton blankets, toiletries, sleeping pads, a camp cooking kit, and other items, said Mr. McCoy.

"It's a real team effort to get these kits to the families in need," he said. FEMA has been working with the Air Force, American Samoa Government, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority, and other agencies to bring aid to the families.

"It's an honor to fly these missions," said aircraft commander Capt. John Cortney, 7th Airlift Squadron. "Supporting humanitarian relief operations is very rewarding, knowing that your efforts have an immediate, positive impact on the lives of many people."

The Airmen also completed a humanitarian airlift mission to Padang, Indonesia, Oct. 9, giving them a total of three humanitarian missions completed in just over a week.

"I'm extremely proud of our crew," said Captain Cortney. "We've put in a lot of hours and moved a lot of cargo this week, but no one has missed a beat.

We've gone on and off alert status, overcome equipment challenges, and have had several last-minute changes in mission details," he said. "But at the end of the day, each mission has been a success, delivering critical supplies and equipment to those in need."

Since leaving McChord Oct. 1, the 7th AS Airmen have taken their C-17 more than 23,000 nautical miles and delivered a total of more than 146,000 pounds of cargo in support of humanitarian relief operations ... so far.

"We don't always know where the next mission will take us," said Tech. Sgt. Derrick Russell, 7th AS. "We might be taking supplies downrange, we might be flying another humanitarian airlift, or we might be headed home.

But whatever the mission and wherever the destination, we're always ready," he said.



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