PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, Feb. 6, 2018 — Reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston delivered nearly 100,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to Haiti this weekend.
The missions involved two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft delivering donated supplies and a well-drilling truck to the people of Haiti.
According to the Denton Program office, it is estimated that more than 8,400 people from the rural areas in Haiti, including an orphanage and medical clinics, will benefit from the supplies.
“It’s hard to see little kids and families suffering,” said Chief Master Sgt. Reggie Godbolt, loadmaster superintendent for the 300th Airlift Squadron and one of the loadmasters on the mission to Haiti. “But as a nation, we give people a hand when they need it. That’s what we are all about.”
Chief Godbolt also talked about the challenging aspect of the mission. “These missions can be challenging as well. We land in austere locations, have to manage different kinds of cargo and must deal with the language barrier. But, that’s what we train to do. We move equipment and supplies wherever it’s needed,” he said.
The relief missions are part of ongoing efforts by the 315th Airlift Wing to utilize flight training hours to provide humanitarian relief to countries in need, while also providing mandated training for C-17 aircrew members.
Since October 2017, the 315th Airlift Wing has delivered 72.1 tons of humanitarian aid to Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
“Missions like these are the best part of what we do,” said Maj. Jennifer Phillips, one of the pilots on the mission from the 300th Airlift Squadron. “We don’t think twice about helping people, it’s just what we do.”
“On these missions we delivered a huge well-drilling truck, food and medical supplies; and enough equipment to build a library. That’s not something you get to do every day,” said Maj. Phillips.
Missions like these are made possible by the Denton Amendment, a Department of State/USAID program allowing the delivery of donated humanitarian aid to fly on Air Force assets on a space available basis.
According to Kathy Cadden from Operation Ukraine, one of the organizations who donated some of the aid going to Haiti, many of the donated items would have been thrown away.
Cadden said, the buckets and jugs used for carrying water were saved from going to a landfill and the donated pre-school tables were older tables being replaced by Woodland Hill Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn. Now these supplies are headed to the Children’s Lifeline School in Barbancou, Haiti. She also said the many desks, chairs and supplies will go to schools, hospitals, medical clinics and orphanages in the area.
“I am so thankful to the Denton program and the U.S. Air Force for making it possible to get food and humanitarian into Haiti,” said Cadden. “There is a change being made in the area where these supplies are being sent.”