News>Yokota Airmen tackle Herculean airlift missions into Sendai
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Staff Sgt. Keo Khamone, 36th Airlift Squadron instructor load master and Airman 1st Class Giovanny Miranda, 36th Airlift Squadron load master, await approval for take-off to Sendia Airport to deliver supplies. As the Air Force’s primary western pacific airlift hub, Yokota leads the way for receiving and delivering cargo vital to relief efforts throughout Japan.. (U.S. Air Force photo/Amn John D. Partlow)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen from the 730th Air Mobility Squadron move a pallet of mission-related supplies onto a C-130 Hercules bound for Sendai Airport here March 27. Yokota Airmen delivered 49 tons of supplies into Sendai on Sunday alone. (U.S. Air Force photo/Amn John D. Partlow)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airman 1st Class Giovanny Miranda, 36th Airlift Squadron load master, checks a C-130 Hercules loaded with relief supplies for fluid leakage while the engines are running. Yokota’s role in relief efforts is part of a broader U.S. government effort to support Japan’s request for humanitarian assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Amn John D. Partlow)
by Amn John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
3/28/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Over the past two weeks Sendai Airport has served as a critical relay point for relief efforts throughout northeastern Japan and the Airmen of the 36th Airlift Squadron are working to ensure the airport stays open for business.
Since the incapacitated airport reopened to air traffic, the 36th AS has flown several missions carrying personnel, fuel and relief supplies into Sendai.
"We are very proud to help out in this mission -- Japan has asked us to help and we're glad to chip in," said Lt Col Tim Rapp, 36th AS commander.
On Sunday alone, C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 36th AS transported approximately 49 tons of cargo and 30,000 lbs of diesel fuel to the airport.
For the aircrews making the trip up to Sendai, these delivery missions represent their continued dedication to on-going relief efforts throughout Japan.
"The forces helping in Sendai definitely need the supplies," said Staff Sgt. Keo Khamone, a 36th AS loadmaster. "It really is making a difference out there."
Due to the airport's location in the middle of the disaster area, having Yokota's C-130's deliver relief supplies directly into Sendai decreases delays in distribution and in turn helps countless Japanese citizens living in temporary shelters.
"We live in Japan," said Staff Sergeant Joshua Plant, C-130 flight engineer from the 36th AS. "It's good to do something for the people we live with."
While the road to Japan's recovery is undoubted long and difficult, the Airmen of the 36th AS know that they are playing a key role in relief efforts.
"It's good to know that all the long hours people are putting in at Yokota are going towards making a difference in Japan," said Sergeant Khamone.