Saturday, 25 July 2020

U.S. Air Force delivers aid to Honduras

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California, off-load a T6 container July 18, 2020, at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The T6 container held 17,000 pounds of COVID-19 medical supplies for Honduras communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)
Airmen assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron at the U.S. Travis Air Force Base, delivered humanitarian aid supplies to Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, July 18, writes  Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell.

The mission was in support of the Denton Program, a Department of Defense transportation program that moves humanitarian cargo, donated by U.S. based non-governmental organizations, to developing nations.

The Airmen transported 58,000 pounds of cargo in a C-5M Super Galaxy. The cargo consisted of eight pallets, two vehicles , two excavators and a 40-foot container filled with medical supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.

“A lot of what is on this aircraft will go to COVID-19 response,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Uherka, Joint Task Force-Bravo civil military operations director at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. “The 40-foot container is heading to Intipuca, which is an underserved community.”

Uherka said the contents of the container would be able to supply a procedure room, two recovery rooms and a laboratory, all of which are vital in effectively combating COVID-19.

The 12-man crew stopped at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, to receive the humanitarian aid for Honduras.

“This was my first humanitarian mission” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Heather Denny, 22nd Airlift Squadron pilot and aircraft commander. “It was a different mission for our C-5 crew; we don’t typically fly into Southern Command which made this a great training mission for us.”

Before this mission, more than $700,000 of Denton cargo has been delivered to Hondurus during Fiscal Year 2020 .
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnel

“Having this be my first humanitarian experience was very eye opening and very surreal because the impact it may bring to people who I don’t know,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Byle Williams II, 22nd AS flight engineer.

Williams added how the humanitarian mission was an example of the base’s support to global reach for the Air Force.

“Giving help, giving aid and knowing that Travis Air Force Base is the one that provided the opportunity to do that for individuals shows how big our footprint is locally and abroad,” Williams continued.

Transporting aid bolsters relationships with partners in Central America and Joint Task Force Bravo has been executing that mission for 38 years, Uherka said. Additionally, according to Uherka, the humanitarian aid has the potential to reach tens of thousands of people in Honduras communities.

“This couldn’t be done without Travis,” Uherka said. “We very much appreciate the support of Travis and the United States Air Force for our mission.”

 Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell

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