***image1***The 86th Airlift Wing is sending two C-130 Hercules aircraft to Africa in support of peacekeeping efforts in Sudan, where more than 1.6 million civilians are now refugees due to a civil war.
Approximately 120 Airmen from the 86th AW and the 435th Air Base Wing are scheduled to leave soon to set up an operating station in Rwanda that will serve as the main hub of operations for ferrying African Union troops and supplies into the Darfur Region of the Sudan.
“This action is part of a larger global effort,” said 1st Lt. Jenny Lovett, a deployment spokesperson.
“This U.S. airlift, provided by the 86th AW and supported by the 435th ABW, is just one small part of the larger international and U.S. government effort to assist the people who are victims,” she said.
***image2***In order to make the deployment happen, 25 members of the deployment control center helped load the necessary supplies for the advance team, who left early to establish an operating base for the main effort.
“We couldn’t have made this happen without the involvement of all the agencies,” said Capt. Shirley Crow, 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron installation deployment officer. “We were lucky to be working this when we were – during quiet hours – because all the agencies were able to pull in more manpower than normal to get this done.
“The deployment control center gets ‘em out the door,” Captain Crow added.
Lieutenant Lovett said the expanded AU mission in Sudan is providing vital security to enable United Nations agencies, U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and other non-government organizations to provide vital humanitarian relief to those in Darfur and eastern Chad who desperately need it.