The Air Force is providing key airlift capabilities in response to the disaster in Haiti, this is all being handled by Air Mobility Command and the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base. One of the main hubs, operating these airlift mission is Charleston Air Force Base. While the majority of the cargo is being picked up at other locations, they are tasking many of the flights in and out of Haiti right now. This includes just about every type of airlift “tail” the Air Force has at it’s disposal. I spent the day touring Charleston Air Force Base yesterday – they had C-130‘s, C-17‘s and C-5‘s parked on their flight line, along with civilian heavy airlift 747‘s. (more…)
I had the opportunity to speak to Colonel Bradley G. Butz who is the Vice Commander of the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Wing, based at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Col Butz briefed us on the use of the RQ-4 Global Hawk in support of the relief efforts in Haiti. Yesterday, the Global Hawk launched from Beale Air Force Base in California and made its way to it operating area over Haiti. Once there, it spent approximately 14 hours on station capturing around 700 images in total. All images will be made unclassified and distributed to anyone who needs the, he has indicated that they will be made available on the “unclassified internet”. At the end of its duty day yesterday, the Global Hawk returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, where it will remain until it has completed this mission. Once it has been released, it will continue on to the middle east to support the ongoing conflicts there. (more…)
The United States Air Force has pulled out all the stops in an effort to support the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti. Among some of the things they are doing and arguably one of the most critical efforts of the relief in general, is controlling the airspace in and around Haiti and, most importantly, the Port Au Prince Airport. Currently Air Force combat controllers are providing the air traffic control for all traffic in and out of Haiti.
Another critical part of the overall relief effort is the transportation of all of the items necessary to support the ongoing relief operations. Air Force Air Mobility Command is currently providing several of its C-17 and C-130 aircraft along with a number of its personnel to support this mission. You can read all about the full effort of AMC and the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center here. (more…)