KEY WEST NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. --
Airmen from the 701st Airlift Squadron deployed three Globemaster C-17s April 23 – 26, 2015, from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. to Key West Naval Air Station, Fla., to support the movement of Denton cargo to Haiti.
The Denton Program allows donors by non-governmental agencies, international organizations and private voluntary donors to use space available onboard military aircraft to transport humanitarian aid.
Pilots from the 315th AW flew 20 sorties during the four-day deployment and airlifted more than 345,000 pounds of humanitarian cargo (which included 61 pallets of food and clothing – as well as a school bus) to the people of Haiti.
The program supported by these efforts will work to feed more than 9,000 people on a daily basis.
“The training mission was built upon the successes of previous missions, which works to support the wing’s readiness for real world contingencies and humanitarian aid relief efforts,” Col. Tom McNamara, 701st Airlift Squadron commander.
“We are constantly evaluating our unit effectiveness, and this training mission put a lot of emphasis on multiple sorties, jets, multiple cargo configurations and aircraft generation through our maintainers,” added McNamara.
“The 315th Airlift Wing’s role is more than transportation, it’s also about lending a helping hand in the process,” said Master Sgt. Ken Hundemer, 317th Airlift Squadron loadmaster.
Hundemer’s civilian profession is serving as the Denton Program director of operations.
“As a civilian, and a Reservist in the U.S. Air Force, I am happy to be a part of these missions,” said Hundemer.
An important aspect of these types of missions are the inspectors, assigned by 315th AW leadership, who evaluate the training and provide feedback to constantly improve the wings overall mission efficiencies.
“Excellent communication will work to meet mission requirements and exceed all goals,” said Maj. Chett Collier, an inspector assigned on the mission.
“As an inspector, one of my main areas of concentration was communication,” added Collier, who also serves as a 315th AW executive officer. “We had more than 85 Airmen deployed with multiple training missions flying on a daily basis. Challenges are always present, and the great communication between our Airmen in the air and on the ground worked to help us overcome all of the obstacles we faced during the deployment.”
According to Collier, the evaluations collected by all of the inspectors on the training mission will be made part of the 315th AW’s self-evaluation process and Unit Effectiveness Inspection capstone, which is a collection of training events conducted by the wing every two years.
This fly-away also opened the door for more maintainers to train off station and generate aircraft for the daily missions, which worked to challenge them and all of the things that go into their world.
“These types of deployments really give maintainers a chance to experience life outside of their day-to-day operations at Joint Base Charleston,” said Tech. Sgt. Shawn Summers, 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief.
Summers added, it’s important to be able to adapt to any environment, and deployments like this test skills to do so quickly – which allows us to keep our aircraft ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
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