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Fri, Jan 15, 2010

Special Ops C-130s, Ohio Air Guard Among Those Providing Disaster Relief

Military Flights Taking Supplies To Earthquake Victims

Airmen and C-130s from the Air Force Special Operations Command are continuing to provide disaster relief to the people of Haiti.  MC-130H Combat Talons and a C-130E Hercules from the 1st Special Operations Wing at Florida's Hurlburt Field landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, overnight and already have left the area for additional support taskings. The wing will continue to support requirements, as additional aircraft such as MC-130P Combat Shadows are en route carrying people and equipment.

Ohio Air Guard Personnel Load Supplies

In addition, two MC-130W Combat Spears from the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., are positioned at Hurlburt for additional support requirements. The aircraft are transporting equipment such as generators, vehicles, fuel, food and water, and communications packages, as well as specialty teams including special operations medical units and special tactics teams.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Air National Guard also has provided two C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft from the Mansfield-based 179th Airlift Wing to provide immediate assistance.

The 179th deployed about 45 unit members to Puerto Rico in support of Operation Coronet Oak - a U.S. Southern Command theater airlift support mission -Jan. 9. Three days later, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit neighboring Haiti. The same evening, three crews from the 179th were put on alert, and early the next morning the first crew was activated and was airborne within three hours.

The aircraft flew to Florida to collect search and rescue teams and communication crews and deliver them to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Shortly after, a second crew was alerted and airborne.

The first crew, led by Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Pecoraro, arrived in Port-au-Prince as the sun was setting Wednesday, and landed successfully despite challenging terrain and a downed communication tower. The Ohio C-130 was the first such aircraft to land in Port-au-Prince.

The second crew, commanded by Air Force Lt. Col. William Baulkmon, arrived after sunset with three pallets of communication materials to improve departure and approach communication at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Three Puerto Rico Air National Guard aircraft have been tasked to the 179th Airlift Wing for this operation. This morning, 179th crews arrived in Florida in two of these aircraft to pick up and deliver additional supplies and personnel. They will arrive in Haiti by early afternoon, officials said.

FMI: www.dod.mil


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