By American Forces Press Service
COLUMBUS, Ohio : As many U.S. military units and government agencies stand poised to answer the call to help earthquake-stricken Haiti, the Ohio Air National Guard already has provided two C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft from the Mansfield-based 179th Airlift Wing to provide immediate assistance.
The aircraft flew to Florida to collect search and rescue teams and communication crews and deliver them to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Shortly after, a second crew was alerted and airborne.
The first crew, led by Air Force Lt. Col. Kenneth Pecoraro, arrived in Port-au-Prince as the sun was setting yesterday, and landed successfully despite challenging terrain and a downed communication tower. The Ohio C-130 was the first such aircraft to land in Port-au-Prince.
The second crew, commanded by Air Force Lt. Col. William Baulkmon, arrived after sunset with three pallets of communication materials to improve departure and approach communication at the Port-au-Prince airport.
Three Puerto Rico Air National Guard aircraft have been tasked to the 179th Airlift Wing for this operation. This morning, 179th crews arrived in Florida in two of these aircraft to pick up and deliver additional supplies and personnel. They will arrive in Haiti by early afternoon, officials said.
(Jan 14, 2010)
(From a news release provided by the Ohio adjutant general's office.)
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