Air Force provides assistance to Burma

USAF photo: Senior Airman Sonya Croston Senior Airman Shaun Rhine, left to right, Staff Sgt. Shaun Kegin and Tech. Sgt. Andree Curlee package bottled water in support of humanitarian relief efforts for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma May 11 at Utapao Air Base, Thailand.

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii — A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules loaded with emergency relief supplies touched down at Rangoon International Airport in Burma May 12 in support of national disaster relief efforts following Tropical Cyclone Nagris that swept through Burma May 2.

An aircraft was loaded with 8,300 bottles of water, two pallets of mosquito nets, and a pallet of blankets in the first of three planned flights in support of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Relief and approved by the Burmese government.

Pacific Air Forces officials are accustomed to working with the international aid community and other partner nations in disaster relief operations to provide humanitarian assistance.

PACAF officials stressed their committment to providing relief assistance to the people of Burma as they cope with this tragedy.

In addition to the aircrew, Undersecretary Henrietta H. Fore, the director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID administrator, Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and Bill Berger, the commander of USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, flew with the relief supplies to Burma to meet with Burmese officials and help pave the way for more intenational and U.S. relief flights.

Also poised to provide support are 45 36th Contingency Response Group members from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The team from Guam is also prepared to open or operate airfields to facilitate relief operations if necessary.

Two 374th Airlift Wing C-130s assigned to Yokota Air Base, Japan, are forward deployed to Utapao Thai Royal Navy Air Base, Thailand, for the humanitarian relief operation.