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Airmen provide support to Indonesian earthquake victims

Airmen from the 36th Airlift Squadron and Combat Mobility Element at Yokota Air Base, Japan, unload supplies and equipment at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, June 1, 2006. The C-130 Hercules mission brought humanitarian relief aid to Indonesia, after an earthquake claimed the lives of more than 6,200 people and injured thousands more. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Javier Cruz Jr.)

Airmen from the 36th Airlift Squadron and Combat Mobility Element at Yokota Air Base, Japan, unload supplies and equipment at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, June 1, 2006. The C-130 Hercules mission brought humanitarian relief aid to Indonesia, after an earthquake claimed the lives of more than 6,200 people and injured thousands more. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Javier Cruz Jr.)

Airmen from the 36th Airlift Squadron and Combat Mobility Element at Yokota Air Base, Japan, unload supplies and equipment at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, June 1, 2006. The C-130 Hercules mission brought humanitarian relief aid to Indonesia, after an earthquake claimed the lives of more than 6,200 people and injured thousands more. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Javier Cruz Jr.)

Airmen from the 36th Airlift Squadron and Combat Mobility Element at Yokota Air Base, Japan, unload supplies and equipment at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday, June 1, 2006. The C-130 Hercules mission brought humanitarian relief aid to Indonesia, after an earthquake claimed the lives of more than 6,200 people and injured thousands more. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Javier Cruz Jr.)

PAYA LEBAR AIR BASE, Singapore (AFPN) -- The 374th Air Expeditionary Group completed its first mission to Indonesia June 1 to deliver relief supplies after a devastating earthquake killed more than 6,200 people and displaced or left thousands homeless.

Two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft deployed to Paya Lebar Air Base with approximately 85 Airmen to help assist forward deployed personnel in Indonesia.

“We are here to help at the request of the Indonesian government,” said Col. William Davidson, 374th AEG commander. “We are rapidly responding with critically needed capabilities to deliver relief to the areas requiring immediate aid.”

“We’re taking the most important stuff first,” said Maj. Timothy Thurston, navigator on the first C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft mission into Indonesia by the 374th AEG. “The C-130 is suited for this type of humanitarian mission. Taking a forklift and some combat mobility element Airmen to Indonesia is exactly what we need to do to get our overall relief efforts underway.”

Airmen supporting the mission in Indonesia are glad they can be of assistance.

“We’re interacting with the people and helping them on a more personal basis. You get to know and experience what the Indonesian people are going through and provide comfort during their time of need,” said Senior Airman Joshua Joslyn, a combat mobility element Airman.

As preparations are completed, Airmen are paving the way to quickly and efficiently get supplies in the hands of the people who need them.

“I would like thank the people of Singapore for their hospitality in hosting us to help the people of Indonesia,” said Col. Davidson. “My condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones and those left without shelter and food. It’s our hope that our relief efforts will help lessen their suffering and anguish.”

Airmen from several different specialties are supporting this mission to include aircrew, maintenance, logistics readiness, contracting, communications, finance and medial support. The Airmen are deployed from Yokota and Misawa Air Bases in Japan.

(Courtesy of 374th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs)