By DoD News
By Master Sgt. Jim Fisher
Airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, delivered humanitarian aid March 4 to Libyan evacuees and foreign nationals, who have fled here due to recent political uprising in Libya.
The Airmen, assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, piloted two C-130J Super Hercules and received 2,000 wool blankets, 40 units of tarps and 9,600 water containers from officials with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pisa, Italy, to be delivered to Tunisia.
Lt. Col. Charles Schlegel, the 435th Air Mobility Squadron commander, is leading a contingency response team working with aircrews from the 37th ALS on the humanitarian missions. He said his team is excited to partner with 17th Air Force members to support State Department officials.
“We know that there are a lot of folks (who) are currently displaced, (who) will hopefully soon be able to return to their home countries and, hopefully, we can expedite that and bring humanitarian assistance to people who need it,” Colonel Schlegel said. “The 17th Air Force did a great job coordinating with the agencies here, making sure the (aid) was ready and could be quickly delivered to people who are in need. This is being driven by the State Department, and we are ready to support any requests they have.”
Army Col. Alberto Chidini, the coordinator of the Army’s Camp Darby humanitarian assistance program near Pisa, was on the flightline for the pickup in Italy, making sure the humanitarian cargo was ready to load. It’s important for people to be willing to help in situations like the one in Libya and its border regions, he said.
“I’ve seen the reports. Everything is lacking,” Colonel Chidini said. “The situation is very bad, and our people are ready to react. It’s important because this could happen to anyone and hopefully someone is ready to help. In this case, (it’s) us.
“It makes you feel good; it makes you feel proud,” he said.