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43rd makes history supporting the XVIII Airborne Corps, 2nd of the 82nd

  • Published
  • By Col. James Johnson
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Commander
Pope is making history today! The 43rd Airlift Wing is executing the contingency outload of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and other elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps to support the Haitian humanitarian relief effort.

This is important because this is the first time that a brigade deployment has been completely supported by airlift and our Green Ramp was the center of gravity for this effort. The Green Ramp has become known as the power projection platform to launch the Soldiers from Fort Bragg. We've always said that Green Ramp is a national strategic resource, a jewel in the crown for launching forces, and it's proving it today.

"The relationship between Pope and Bragg is special," said Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. "We are a team made up of Army and Air Force personnel, the relationship must be seamless and it takes leadership to do that. Col. James Johnson leads that effort at Pope -- together our team is ready to support any mission given enhancing the capabilities that are present at the Pope/Bragg strategic power projection platform -- our nation expects that and we will not fail them."

Interestingly, this mission will also continue post-BRAC as the 43rd AW becomes the 43rd Airlift Group. Although the wing will transfer its installation management responsibilities in 2011, the 43rd's focus on Green Ramp operations and the critical support we provide to the 18th Airborne Corps will never diminish.

It is an honor to serve with our Fort Bragg brothers and sisters in arms and we will remain committed to supporting their deployment requirements whether we are the 43rd AW or 43rd AG. I couldn't be more proud of the Pope Airmen who successfully surged to support the XVIII Abn. Corps this week!

At the time of this writing, the 43rd Airlift Wing had achieved an amazing record of 94 percent departure reliability ... when we were needed most! This was the superbowl and it was clear we came to play! The 43rd moved more than 2,761 short tons of cargo and more than 2,834 people in a very short time and now we're sustaining the force with follow-on aircraft.

This is without a doubt a historic event for the 43rd! Airborne, all the way!