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Thu, Oct 28, 2004

Europe-Based Airmen Prepare for Humanitarian-Relief Efforts

Carrying Troops, Supplies To Sudan

More than 120 active-duty and reserve airmen of the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group arrived here Oct. 23 and 24 to set up airlift operations for the African Union.

Within 48 hours, the group set up lodging, food, communications, transportation, maintenance, public affairs, a medical clinic and a full-up operations center. "These airmen have worked nonstop since arrival to ensure we are ready to go when we get the execute order," said Air Force Col. Robert Baine, 322nd commander. "They have set up a world-class operation."

The two C-130 Hercules aircraft that deployed with the 322nd AEG will transport African Union troops and supplies into Sudan's Darfur region, where more than 50,000 people have been killed and at least 1.5 million have lost their homes because of regional fighting.

"Right now, we're waiting on the execute order. So in the meantime, everyone is fine-tuning so that when the call comes down, we can walk out the door," said Air Force Capt. Heather Healy, 322nd Public Affairs officer.

The airmen here are a conglomerate of US Air Forces in Europe active-duty airmen and reservists from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Georgia.

(ANN salutes Air Force 1st Lt. Jenny Lovett, 322nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs)

FMI: www.usafe.af.mil

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