DOVER - Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday served as a launching pad for supplies and personnel bound for Turkey to assist search and rescue efforts following two earthquakes on Feb. 5.
According to a news release issued by the 436th Airlift Wing, its Aerial Port Squadron processed and loaded 83 passengers and 58,000 pounds of cargo onto an Alaska Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the death toll in Turkey and Syria had surpassed 7,200 and was still expected to rise.
Among the passengers were 79 Urban Search and Rescue personnel and six canines from Fairfax County, Virginia, including structural engineers, doctors, logistics personnel and technical search specialists. Cargo included rescue equipment, such as concrete breakers and generators, along with medical supplies, tents, water and water purification systems, the news release said.
As one of two search and rescue teams in the country who respond on behalf of the U.S. government, the team was in place less than 24 hours from initial notification with enough supplies to sustain operations for at least seven days.
“Dover Airmen are always ready to deliver rapid global mobility to support the needs of the nation, our allies and our partners,” said Col. Matt Husemann, 436th Airlift Wing commander. “As the largest logistics power projection platform in the (Department of Defense), Team Dover is primed to respond to global crises and deliver hope to those in need.”
Another C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departed March Air Reserve Base, California, on Tuesday within 24 hours of initial notification as well.
“In our profession, nothing is more noble than delivering humanitarian aid to those in need, and we are proud to support our ally Turkey,” said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, who is the U.S> Transportation Command commander.