SCOTT AFB, IL (WCSC) - In less than a week, units from Air Mobility Command flew more than 260 missions in support of Haitian relief efforts including a Jan. 18 mission out of Charleston AFB that dropped more than 69,000 pounds of food and water.
Officials at Mobility Command said the unit has delivered almost 1,600 tons of cargo and 2,400 people to Haiti and has evacuated another 600 people from the earthquake-ravaged country.
Although the AMC has delivered a significant amount of relief aid, AMC officials said the lack of infrastructure in Haiti has significantly slowed the delivery of supplies and workers. As a result, organizers are looking into creating multiple drop zones for air delivery to speed the distribution of essential good to the Haitian people.
The AMC also partnered with the UN and the U.S. State Department to allow the 621st Contingency Response Wing to transport six Haitian orphans to new families in the U.S.
The children were among the dozens of orphans who were displaced by the earthquake that rocked Port-au-Prince last Tuesday night. According to news reports, the orphanage was destroyed in the earthquake forcing about 25 children to live outside.
At the Port-au-Prince Airport, personnel assigned to the CRW were able to get the children safely aboard the C-17 headed for the United States.
"It was a teamwork effort," said Lt. Col. Randon Draper, assigned to 18th Air Force at Scott AFB. "There were a lot of moving parts coming together: the CRW, the State Department, CNN crews, the UN [and] a lot of people back in the states working together."
Since Haiti relief operations began Jan. 13, aircrews from across the command have evacuated more than 600 U.S. citizens.
AMC has continued to support relief efforts through transporting life-saving medical supplies. Crews from Scott AFB loaded nearly 40,000 pounds of medical supplies into a C-17 bound for Haiti. Medical teams from across the command have made themselves available to provide medical assistance in Haiti.
Governments and military personnel from around the world have dedicated significant resources and manpower to re-establish stability in Haiti after an earthquake devastated the country Jan. 12.
The effects of the earthquake were accentuated by poverty and lacking infrastructure that is pervasive in Haiti.
The earthquake measured a 7.0 on the Richter scale, the largest magnitude quake ever recorded in the region.