SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
Haiti relief efforts tested the mettle of Air Combat Command top non-flying logistics readiness squadron Jan. 17 when the call came to load three C-130s with supplies and personnel from here.
The 612th Air Base Logistics Readiness Squadron moved 51,400 lbs. including vehicles, trailer, generator, personnel bags, surgical equipment, MREs and water during the evening hours of Sunday.
The LRS had not even celebrated their new title when the 36 member flight began identifying what and how much cargo 23 Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element members would need to take with them to support Joint Task Force-Haiti.
"Our unit did an outstanding job handling the MEDEL deployment," said Capt. Timothy Breitbach, LRS commander. "With the time-crunch on needing to get MEDEL there to Haiti quickly and not knowing what the exact timeline or what the requirements were going to be, our Air Terminal Operations Center personnel were extremely flexible in prepping cargo and ensuring MEDEL had the necessary paperwork accomplished to get the cargo on the aircraft."
While some LRS members concerned themselves with cargo, other Airmen began building passenger manifests and processing personnel through customs and immigration so when the C-130s arrived the unit could focus on loading cargo.
Preparing to load cargo was just one of the challenges the unit of the year faced. The LRS was expecting to get a C-17 that could have handled the entire load. Instead the LRS team re-configured pallets for the three C-130s that were sent to provide support for the mission.
"With the huge amount of cargo going into Haiti, it was very difficult to plan on when and what aircraft we would be sent," said Captain Breitbach. "It's a constant waiting and prepping game of doing what you can to be ready for anything with a limited amount of information."
The airlift was the largest contingency mission accomplished out of Soto Cano in the past year adding to the already large list of accomplishments of this small unit.
"One thing we are real proud of is how the entire flight came together to support the operation," Captain Breitbach said. "Everyone did an amazing job under a time crunch with many unknowns."