Airmen, Soldiers continue delivering troops, aid to Haiti
By SOF Editor on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 10:59am
Airmen and Soldiers from Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Fort Lee, Va., continued support of Operation Unified Response, loading nearly 70 tons of gear and supplies and more than 70 Soldiers aboard two C-17 Globemaster IIIs Feb. 8 and 9. The 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron team worked alongside Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Soldiers from nearby Forts Eustis and Lee to load the gear and people aboard C-17s from Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Air transporters from the 633rd LRS have worked around the clock since Jan. 14, ensuring the aircraft are properly loaded, said Master Sgt. Anthony McCray, the 633rd LRS Air Terminal Operations superintendent. The team performed joint inspections with deploying units and validated all aircraft load plans for proper weight distribution and sequencing. Fort Eustis Soldiers loaded vehicles, palletized cargo and gear as troops from Fort Lee's 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion boarded en route to provide security, fuel systems and water purification management in Haiti. "The Air Force trains Soldiers through an affiliation program how to load aircraft properly," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Harris, a 21st Airlift Squadron C-17 loadmaster. "They knew exactly what to do and really helped expedite the process." Airmen used planes that are most readily available to carry cargo and people from support bases, such as Langley AFB and Charleston AFB, S.C., to Haiti and back. As a result, crews from around the country man aircraft from different bases, all while visiting installations that serve as hubs. "We need to be able to respond as quickly as possible, so when the alert comes in, we take whatever plane is available," said Airman 1st Class Alex Bartels, a loadmaster from Travis AFB who accompanied the Hickam AFB-based C-17. "It saves time and money and helps us be as efficient as possible." The efforts were the latest in the relief operation for 633rd LRS Airmen, having moved half of 2009's total amount of transported cargo in less than one month. "Last year, we moved approximately 1,500 tons of cargo," said 2nd Lt. Larry Ingersoll, the 633rd LRS officer in charge of air terminal operations. The 633rd LRS (Airmen have) moved 746 tons of relief supplies in only 25 days, a mere 7 percent of the year. Since the beginning of the operation, 633rd LRS Airmen have loaded 24 aircraft with cargo and more than 200 people bound for Haiti.