Airmen offload aid

Humanitarian aid being offloaded from a Charleston based C-17 Globemaster III by Master Sgt. Tom House (left) and Tech. Josh Fugle from the 701st Airlift Squadron.

Posted by Maj. Wayne Capps

SOTO CANO, HONDURAS — Reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing delivered more than 124,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to Haiti, Panama and Honduras Feb. 1-2.

The missions involved two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the 701st and 300th Airlift Squadrons, which delivered humanitarian aid, medical and school supplies, rice and water to the different countries.

“It is very rewarding to get to do these missions,” said Maj. Ronnie Schier, operations officer and pilot from the 701st AS. “It is a good feeling to be able to bring these supplies to people who really need it.”

Missions like these are made possible by the Denton Amendment, a state department/U.S. Aid program allowing the delivery of donated humanitarian aid to fly on Air Force assets on a space available basis.

The missions were also training missions for the numerous reserve aircrew members on the two jets.

“There are numerous evaluations happening on these flights,” said Schier. “Off-station training missions like these are invaluable for traditional reservists. These missions can be challenging with the mountainous terrain, language barriers and any other issue that come up,” he said. “These training missions keep our reservists ready, and if we can help people while staying current, that is a plus.”

“I take pride in knowing that I can fly these types of missions and serve my country part time,” said Tech. Sgt. Josh Fugle, a loadmaster on the mission, also from the 701st AS. “I feel good knowing that humanitarian aid is being delivered to countries that need these vital supplies.”

Fugle is a traditional reservist who received training on the mission; he is also a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer in his full time job.

“This mission was a good representation of the C-17 and what it can do,” said Capt. Jared Wagner, a reserve pilot, as he summed up his thoughts on participating in the mission. “Missions like these are also a good representations of what we do as Americans, we help people who need it.”