JB Charleston provides aid to hurricane victims

Tech Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, guides a member of the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., as they load a cargo pallet on to the C-17 Globemaster III at the Robins AFB Aug. 29.

Tech Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, guides a member of the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., as they load a cargo pallet on to the C-17 Globemaster III at the Robins AFB Aug. 29. The mission carried a total of 30.6 tons of relief supplies to Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, La.

Staff Sgt. Lindsey McCoy, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant NCO in charge of passenger services, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., secures a truck with a cargo winchduring a cargo on load at Robins AFB Aug. 29.

Staff Sgt. Lindsey McCoy, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant NCO in charge of passenger services, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., secures a truck with a cargo winchduring a cargo on load at Robins AFB Aug. 29. Aircrews were comprised of members from the 14th, 15th and 16th Airlift Squadrons. Each time a crew was called upon, they were able to depart within three hours of the tasking.

Senior Airman Justin Hampton, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, hangs the state flag of Texas prior to takeoff of a disaster relief mission Aug. 29.

Senior Airman Justin Hampton, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, hangs the state flag of Texas prior to takeoff of a disaster relief mission Aug. 29. Hampton is a Texas native who was excited to help out his home state in their time of need.

Tech. Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, goes over a pre-flight checklist before flying a mission Aug. 29 to provide disaster relief to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Tech. Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, goes over a pre-flight checklist before flying a mission Aug. 29 to provide disaster relief to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Preparations for this began Friday when four aircrews were placed into alert status in case the C-17 fleet here was called upon to aid in hurricane relief efforts.

Senior Airman Justin Hampton, left, and Tech. Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmasters, left, checks the winches holding down a vehicle during a cargo on load at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., flightline Aug. 29.

Senior Airman Justin Hampton, left, and Tech. Sgt. Joe Joiner, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmasters, left, checks the winches holding down a vehicle during a cargo on load at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., flightline Aug. 29. Once the cargo was loaded, it was taken to La., where it was offloaded and brought 
to strategic forward positions to assist in relief efforts.

Aircrew from the 16th Airlift Squadron prepares for a mission in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29.

Aircrew from the 16th Airlift Squadron prepares for a mission in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29. Preparations began Friday when four aircrews were placed into alert status in case the C-17 fleet here was called upon to aid in hurricane relief efforts. As the crews left, additional crews were placed into alert status and ready to launch in order to continue relief operations.

Members of the 51st and 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., prepare for their arrival to the Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, La., to provide aid to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29.

Members of the 51st and 52nd Combat Communications Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., prepare for their arrival to the Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, La., to provide aid to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29. Preparations for this began Friday when four aircrews were placed into alert status in case the C-17 fleet here was called upon to aid in hurricane relief efforts.

Aircrew from the 16th Airlift Squadron prepares for an emergency response mission in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29.

Aircrew from the 16th Airlift Squadron prepare for an emergency response mission in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29. For the mission, two C-17 Globemaster III left Joint base Charleston carrying 30.6 tons of relief supplies to Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, La. Once the aircraft arrived in Louisiana, the cargo was offloaded and brought to strategic forward positions to assist in relief efforts.

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C --

Two C-17 Globemaster III left Joint base Charleston carrying 30.6 tons of relief supplies to Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, Louisiana in response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 29.

Once the aircraft arrived in Louisiana, the cargo was offloaded and brought to strategic forward positions to assist in relief efforts.

Preparations for this began Friday when four aircrews were placed into alert status in case the C-17 fleet here was called upon to aid in hurricane relief efforts. As the crews left, additional crews were placed into alert status and ready to launch in order to continue relief operations. 

“Our first utilization of these alert aircraft occurred yesterday,” said Lt. Col. Erin Meinders, 437th Operations Group deputy commander. “We had two crews launch to prepare for the President's visit to the region today. Furthermore, we had two crews launch today to carry relief cargo and support personnel into the region.”

Aircrews were comprised of members from the 14th, 15th and 16th Airlift Squadrons. Each time a crew was called upon, they were able to depart within three hours of tasking. All of this was done while still continuing to support daily combat sustainment missions to the U.S. Central Command theater of operations.

“The members of the 437th Operations Group have done an amazing job identifying and preparing crews, launching crews off of alert, and immediately reconstituting those crews as soon as they launch,” said Meinders. “It's amazing to see how hard the crews and squadron support personnel work. It's even more humbling to see how they've surged to help out their fellow Americans. They're excited to bring hope and relief to folks that have been impacted by the storm ... and we're very proud of them.”

A crew member aboard one of the aircraft is a Texas native and was excited to help out his home state.

"Being from Texas, I jumped at the opportunity to do this. I'm not able to be home to help my family and friends, but being able to do this humanitarian aid for the hurricane allows me to extend some help to anyone in need right now and that is rewarding all in its own," said Senior Airman Justin Hampton, 16th Airlift Squadron loadmaster.

The 437th Airlift Wing commander was proud to see his Airmen demonstrate flexibility and an eagerness to help their fellow countrymen in a time of need. He said this operation demonstrates one of the many diverse capabilities the C-17 brings to the table.

"Natural disasters are an unfortunate reality and our thoughts are with everybody who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Our team quickly answered the call as we rapidly generated aircraft and aircrew for any emerging requirements,” said Col. Jimmy Canlas, 437th AW commander. “Our team has responded to this relief effort by getting supplies to those in need. This is what we are trained to do ... no matter the mission, we are ready to get any cargo to any place in the world in a moment's notice."