Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

January 21, 2010 at 12:06pm

McChord deploys airfield experts to Haiti

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(From the 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs)

Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron depart for Haiti late tonight to bring specialized airfield operations skills and equipment to the humanitarian relief effort at Port-Au-Prince's Toussaint L'Ouventure International Airport.

The 15-airmen APS team is made up of experts in airfield operations and allows critical relief supplies to be unloaded from cargo aircraft with aircraft engines still running. This allows faster ground times for all aircraft bringing in relief supplies and departing with evacuees.

Prior to the earthquake, Haiti's single runway airport averaged three takeoffs and landings per day; under current U.S. Air Force operation, the airfield is averaging more than 170 takeoffs and landings daily in support of ongoing humanitarian efforts.

"It's a privilege to participate in this operation and help the Haitian people," said Air Force Master Sgt Jason Aven, 62nd APS air transportation operations center, senior NCO in charge.  "Engine running off-loads and on-loads are one of the most specialized skills the Air Force brings to this humanitarian airlift operation; it allows us to safely download cargo in minimal time to rush aid to the Haitian people."

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