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Airdrop delivers critical supplies to earthquake victims

On Jan. 18, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III  -- like the aircraft pictured here -- airdropped more than 69,000 pounds of food and water to earthquake victims in Haiti. (File photo)

On Jan. 18, a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III -- like the aircraft pictured here -- airdropped more than 69,000 pounds of food and water to earthquake victims in Haiti. (File photo)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Airmen from U.S. Southern Command's air component, Air Forces Southern, conducted an airdrop mission Jan. 18 in an effort to provide an alternate distribution point for relief supplies to Haitian earthquake victims. The mission was planned and executed by Airmen at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, 18th Air Force, 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center, and the 612th Air Operations Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

The C-17 Globemaster III, crewed by Airmen from the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, S.C., departed Pope AFB, N.C., and delivered 14,000 Meals Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, and 14,000 quarts of water in the 7-hour round-trip mission to Haiti. To ensure the safety of the Haitian people, servicemembers with 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 using in order to create alternate distribution points that will enable aid to reach the people more quickly.

Since Jan. 13, Air Mobility Command aircrews have delivered more than 1,500 tons of supplies to the region as part of Operation Unified Response.

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