Airmen provide humanitarian relief to Caribbean Islands

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Airmen across the United States came together to support the relief effort for Hurricane Irma, September 12, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

437th Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III crew members traveled to Mountain Home to transport a mobile air traffic control tower to the Caribbean islands affected by Hurricane Irma.

“We are doing humanitarian support for the hurricane affecting the Caribbean,” said Capt. Scott Szalejko, 437th AW/15th Airlift Squadron C-17 pilot. “We are heading down to the Caribbean tonight and delivering an air traffic control tower, because the one in the Caribbean island was destroyed.”

The ATC tower was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, and was requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide relief to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The Federal Aviation Administration office in Boise, Idaho, was tasked with supplying this equipment,” said Mr. Gregory Wickard, 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist. “The FAA called our office, because they weren’t sure how to prepare the cargo for airlift and how to load the C-17. We had them bring the equipment to our base, where we did all of the prep-work.”

Working alongside the 437th AW, Mountain Home AFB 366th LRS had the tower prepped and fuel ready to ensure the aircraft was prepared for departure.

“It was out of the norm for us,” said Wickard. “Everyone in the work center played a part to get the work done on the flightline.”