Kentucky Air National Guard–Day 3 Supporting Haiti

The 123rd CRG from the Kentucky Air National Guard established an airbase out of the small airport in Barahona, Dominican Republic.

24 Jan. 2010
Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht
Director of Public Affairs, Kentucky National Guard
BARAHONA, Dominican Republic

Over the past 24 hours, airmen from the 123rd Contingency Response Group dispatched over 160,000 pounds of humanitarian relief materials into Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response.

Working 12-hour shifts, the hasty airbase established by Louisville’s Air National Guardsmen offloaded over 16 military cargo planes from sun up to sun down.

Saturday night began with two military aircraft on the Barahona ramp; a C-130 from the Minnesota Air National Guard and a C-17 from Travis Air Force Base.

Neither aircraft remained on the ramp for more than 20 minutes. The CRG offloaded over 15 pallets from the two planes.

Coming off night shift, Maj. Bruce Bancroft briefed the refreshed CRG day shift team of the anticipated airflow and VIPs, to include the Canadian Assessment Team from the Canadian Air Force. The Canadians anticipate processing up to 150 UN peacekeepers and medical specialists daily through the small Barahona airport. These personnel will immediately advance into Haiti via bus and automobile, 30 miles to the West.

The 123rd received word of an extremely urgent cargo package from an inbound C-130. The aircrew’s cargo had top priority—and international pressure—regarding its shipment into Port-au-Prince, as each container had a 24-hour lifespan.

This shipment of lifesaving plasma was earmarked for the urgent care of Haiti’s wounded. The CRG exceeded expectations in their urgent delivery of these supplies. Security forces from the active duty Air Force escorted the flatbed truck to its destination inside the Haitian boarder.

Two hours later, another series of C-130 aircraft carrying crucial humanitarian supplies were offloaded with urgent speed.

“Every second counts…and thousands are counting on us, “ said Lt. Col. David Mounkes, 123rd global mobility squadron commander. “This is what we do. And we do it quite well, if I say so myself.

Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht, Director of Public Affairs, Kentucky National Guard, talks with Canadian Air Force members about the air fields capabilities.

Canadian Air Force Assessment Team meets with Kentucky Air National Guard, Barahona, D.R.

Lt. Col. David Monkes, global mobility squadron commander, talks with Canadian Air Force Sgt. Eric Thomkins, about the air fields capabilities.

Canada Air Force works with Kentucky Air National Guard

Two Military Aircraft at night...at the same time: C-17 and C-130

Two military aircraft at night, at the same time - C-17 and C-130.

The Kentucky Air National Guard unloads the steady flow of military aircraft, Barahona, D.R.

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