Air Delivery Gets Critical Supplies to Haiti Earthquake Victims
By Dialogo January 19, 20101/18/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft flew non-stop from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and delivered 14,500 meals ready to eat and 15,000 liters of water by air into a controlled drop zone of 900 x 1800 yards in Haiti. The drop zone was located five miles north-northeast of the Port au Prince airport. U.S. Southern Command, through its air component Air Force South, directed the mission that was carried out by Airmen at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, 18th Air Force and the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center. To ensure the safety of the Haitian people, Joint Task Force-Haiti secured an area in which to airdrop the supplies. Once on the ground, supplies were distributed by JTF-Haiti, USAID and other relief personnel. One of the greatest challenges in this relief operation has been lack of infrastructure, which has significantly slowed the delivery of supplies and workers to the greatest points of need in Haiti. Airdrop is one of many options the international community is exploring in order to create alternate distribution points that will enable aid to reach the people more quickly. Since Jan. 13, Air Mobility Command has delivered more than 1,500 tons of supplies to the region as part of Operation Unified Response. AMC aircraft and personnel continue to support the international effort to increase the velocity with which aid is flowing to those in need.