Base linked to Japanese humanitarian aid mission|
Posted 4/1/2011 Updated 4/1/2011
by Wayne Crenshaw
4/1/2011 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Team Robins members may not realize it, but they've been involved in helping earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan.
In Operation Tomodachi, which means "friendship" in Japanese, Airmen have been using C-17s and C-130s to ferry personnel and relief supplies to and around the country.
Through March 25, according to Air Force statistics, Airmen had flown 225 missions in Operation Tomodachi, delivering 4.2 million pounds of cargo and 2,800 passengers. The cargo has included food and water, along with kerosene for relief-shelter heaters.
The 402nd Maintenance Wing provides depot maintenance for the two aircraft and the WR-ALC's Aerospace Sustainment Directorate provides life-cycle management of the airframes.
Approximately 20,000 American troops have been involved in Operation Tomodachi, the largest bilateral humanitarian mission the U.S. has conducted in Japan.
Although C-17s and C-130s are primarily used to ferry warfighters and combat equipment around the globe, the aircraft are often instrumental in humanitarian operations. Among other things, the two were used extensively in the Haiti relief efforts last year and during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005.