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Reservists load humanitarian aid for Nicaragua

Jim McIlrath, Christ United Methodist Church pastor, Warner Robins, Ga., drives a donated fire truck into the belly of a C-17 guided by members of the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C. The 315th AW C-17 landed Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and medical supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

Jim McIlrath, Christ United Methodist Church pastor, Warner Robins, Ga., drives a donated fire truck into the belly of a C-17 guided by members of the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C. The 315th AW C-17 landed Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and medical supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

A wooden ramp used to drive a fire truck on board is loaded into a C-17 Globemaster III from the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C. The 315th AW C-17 landed Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and medical supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

A wooden ramp used to drive a fire truck on board is loaded into a C-17 Globemaster III from the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C. The 315th AW C-17 landed Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and medical supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

Airmen from the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C., load medical supplies onto a 315th AW C-17 Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The aircrew landed here to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

Airmen from the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C., load medical supplies onto a 315th AW C-17 Dec. 30, 2010, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The aircrew landed here to pick up humanitarian aid bound for Managua, Nicaragua. A 1984 E-One fire truck and supplies, totaling nearly 3.5 tons, was donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America to assist countries in Latin America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexy Saltekoff)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A C-17 Globemaster III from the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston, S.C., landed here Dec. 30, 2010, to load humanitarian aid headed for Managua, Nicaragua.

A 1984 E-One fire truck along with nearly 3.5 tons of medical supplies and firefighting equipment donated by Emergency Response Services for Latin America, an organization formed by Rodney McDonald from Warner Robins, Ga., and Mark Taylor from Bend, Ore., to assist countries in Latin America, were loaded onto the C-17 here and then departed for Managua.

The equipment is being transported through the Denton Program, which permits the Department of Defense to provide transportation of privately donated humanitarian cargo to foreign countries using military transportation on a space-available basis. There is no cost to the donating agency or organization for the C-17 transportation related costs.

"The opportunity to bring humanitarian aid that provides direct assistance to countries in need is one of the better missions we do," said Lt. Col. Jess Smith, mission commander. "The entire crew is proud to be a part of these important missions."

According to an ERSLA release, the organization began soliciting equipment for this shipment in 2009 by visiting fire departments and networking online. Donated equipment from around the country was consolidated in one staging location in Warner Robins.

Additionally, a second C-17 crew from the 315th AW is scheduled to deliver nearly $67,000 in medical and school supplies to Lifeline Orphanage located in Haiti as well as another $25,000 in clothing, food, medical and school supplies to Grenada, donated by Good News Project, Inc., an interfaith organization in Wausau, Wis.

In total the Air Force Reserve will airlift four tons of humanitarian aid, school supplies, and first-responder emergency equipment to Central America and the Caribbean this holiday weekend.

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