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Colorado-based AF Reservists deploy in support Haiti earthquake relief

Maj. Brad James, 731st Airlift Squadron pilot, meets with Colorado Springs media before departing Peterson Air Force Base Jan. 22 in support of Operation Coronet Oak. Two C-130 Hercules and approximately 50 Air Force reservists from 302nd Airlift Wing left Colorado to fly missions out of Puerto Rico in support of Haitian relief efforts. (Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield)

Maj. Brad James, 731st Airlift Squadron pilot, meets with Colorado Springs media before departing Peterson Air Force Base Jan. 22 in support of Operation Coronet Oak. Two C-130 Hercules and approximately 50 Air Force Reservists from the 302nd Airlift Wing left Colorado to fly missions out of Puerto Rico in support of Haitian relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield)

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Approximately 50 Air Force Reservists and two C-130 Hercules from Colorado's 302nd Airlift Wing left here, Jan. 22 to fly humanitarian missions in support of Haitian relief efforts. The AF Reservists will support airlift operations including aeromedical evacuation and aerial delivery missions, transporting much needed food and water as well as other relief supplies.

"I am looking forward to flying missions dedicated to earthquake relief in Haiti," said Maj. Brad James, 731st Airlift Squadron C-130 pilot.
The airlift missions will be part of a previously-scheduled AF operation known as Operation Coronet Oak. That operation provides rapid-response airlift to crises as requested by the U.S. Southern Command. Throughout the two-week deployment, the AF Reservists will be based in Puerto Rico and are expected to fly multiple sorties into Haiti daily.

"A high operations tempo is expected for the next four weeks," said Col. Julio Lopez, 35th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander. "Every day Air Expeditionary Force Coronet Oak is launching four C-130s four times a day."

The crews and aircraft from the 302nd Airlift Wing are expected to fly immediately after arrival in Puerto Rico.

"There is a great need in Haiti and our aircrews and C-130s will add to the critical airlift support delivering the aid Haitians need," said Col. Jay Pittman, 302nd AW commander. "The men and women of the 302nd Airlift Wing are expertly trained, highly-skilled and ready to respond at a moment's notice."

Coronet Oak assigned C-130s flew 30 missions, logging 111 flight hours in the first seven days of operations after the earthquake.