News: Lifeliners, military prepare aid bundles to earth slide victims
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Peter Mayes
By Spc. Michael Vanpool
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Soldiers of the 101st Sustainment Brigade and servicemembers of the Bagram Humanitarian Assistance (Class X) Yard, worked late into the early morning to preprare bundles of rice, beans and blanket to Afghan villagers who lost their homes in a recent earth slide.
The earth slide happened, April 6, and affected around 1,000 villagers in Mazar E Sharif. The bundles were air dropped to Forward Operating Base Deh Dadi II, in Regional Command North Thursday morning.
The “Lifeliners” and Class X Yard provided the supplies to assist the 24th Brigade Support Battalion, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, who were tasked with dispersing the aid, said Maj. Joe Suddith, brigade support operations officer in charge. Since there is no Class X Yard in RC -North, the food, water and blankets needed to be delivered to the site quickly.
“We can move quickly in an emergency situation,” Suddith said. “We have the ability to move anything within country, and help the Afghans.”
In order to move the aid, the Transportation, Geographic Routing Identifier Code (RIC-GEO) and Aerial Delivery sections of the brigade support operations worked with the servicemembers of the Bagram Humanitarian Assistance Yard.
The Riggers with the 11th Quartermaster Detachment assembled the bundles of beans, rice, and blankets for the air drop. The U.S. Air Force was able to drop the aid to FOB Deh Dadi II around twelve hours after the call for help, Suddith said. The riggers, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., are assigned to the Sustainment Brigade during their deployment.
The Bagram Humanitarian Assistance Yard provides supplies to the local populations in Regional Command East and North in emergency situations, including natural disasters, said Air Force Staff Sgt. David Turcios, who works at the yard.
500 bags of beans, 600 bags of rice and 1,350 blankets were pulled from the connexes in the yard and palletized with the help of the RIC GEO section.
“We were there to assist the Humanitarian Assistance Yard in loading pallets to send up North,” said Sgt. 1st. Class Patrick Hall, noncommissioned officer in charge of the RIC GEO section. “We’re trying to build a better close-knit relationship with the Afghans.”
The riggers received the pallets, and prepared them for the Container Delivery System drop, said Air Force Tech Sgt. Nathan Patton, brigade aerial delivery assistant. CDS drops allow larger bundles of supplies to be dropped from a heavier altitude.
The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, an Air Force command based on Bagram Air Field, keeps an emergency aircraft at all times, and provided the plane to drop the bundles, Suddith said.
Soldiers with the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, gathered the bundles and moved them to Mazar-E-Sharif to be dispersed to the local Afghans.
“We have an opportunity to how the villagers and the Afghan community that we care,” Suddith said. “It’s never a good time for a tragedy, but we can show them that we are here to support them. We can make a difference in their time of need.”