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Pope, Bragg provide key step in Haiti humanitarian relief

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kris Levasseur
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 440th Airlift Wing, with a combination of 95th and 2nd Airlift Squadron personnel departed Pope on a C-130 early Jan. 14 transporting approximately 61 Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg.

The mission was to deliver the Soldiers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to help support relief operations after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation Jan 12.

"Primarily this group of Soldiers will be performing airfield security," said Maj. Ryan Consie, 440th Aircraft Commander. "Right now, because of the crisis, there is a lot of chaos in Port-au-Prince. In order to perform further humanitarian effort, we needed to provide more security.

"When we were down there, there was a lot of commotion," he added. "This was a key step for us to provide food, water and other humanitarian relief functions in the future."

Other capabilities that may be provided by Pope in the future are aero-medical evacuation, search and rescue parties, cargo transportation and further security details.

"I feel the 440th will provide a huge role in the relief in the future," said the Major. "Because of the limited size of the airfield, our C-130s will provide a huge role hauling supplies and 82nd Airborne personnel."

The relief efforts provided by Pope and Ft. Bragg were accomplished by a combined effort of the 43rd Airlift Wing, 440th AW and 82nd Airborne.

"It felt good to be able to help the people of Haiti," said Staff Sgt. Dale Etter, 2nd AS, C-130 Crew Chief. "I'm sure the people and supplies we brought down there will be a big help to the relief efforts."

The major reiterated that all of the personnel deploying are dedicated and ready to carry out the mission, regardless of the challenges.

"We had a lot of challenges flying into Port-au-Prince, such as congested air space and limited communications, but our crew worked well together to get the mission accomplished," said Major Consie.