News: 386th AEW contributes aircraft, Airmen to relief efforts in Pakistan
Story by Maj. Dale Greer
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Airmen and aircraft from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing are joining the U.S. military's humanitarian relief efforts in flood-ravaged Pakistan, where record-setting monsoons have killed more than 1,600 people and left 2 million homeless.
Two C-130 transport aircraft and more than 40 aircrew members, maintainers and support personnel departed from the wing's undisclosed air base today for Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Once there, the airmen will join with other units to fly food, water and medical supplies throughout Pakistan, said Lt. Col. Robert McCrady, deputy commander of the 386th Expeditionary Operations Group here.
"These floods are the worst to hit Pakistan in more than 80 years, and the Pakistanis desperately need our help," McCrady said. "We'll be working with other units to provide that assistance wherever it's needed. The C-130 is an outstanding aircraft for this sort of mission because it can carry everything from food and water to rolling stock and portable clinics. It also has the capability to land on dirt strips in austere environments, should the need arise."
Col. Patrick X. Mordente, commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, said the unit is eager to help the people of Pakistan.
"Humanitarian airlift is something we're very good at, and we're glad to be in a position to help the Pakistani people recover from this devastating event," he said. "Our airmen will work around the clock to ensure that food, water, medicine and other relief supplies get to those who need them as expeditiously as possible. We stand ready to help in any way we can."
The U.S. Air Force has been delivering assistance to Pakistan since July 31, military officials said. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of supplies worth more than $90 million have been delivered, according to the Pentagon, with flights continuing on a daily basis.