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Fri, Feb 11, 2011

Airmen Help Transport Clothes, Shoes To Kyrgyzstan

Program Allows Civilian Goods To Be Transported On Military Aircraft

More than 6,500 pounds of humanitarian goods were loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Scott AFB in Illinois on Feb. 7. The goods are being shipped to Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, as part of the Denton Program, which allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods.

Humanitarian Goods Brought To C-17 For Loading USAF Photo

Included in the shipment were three pallets of donated clothing and shoes, donated from Red Bud, Ill. Due to the holidays and recent inclement weather, the donation coordinators from Red Bud were unable to bring the goods to Scott Air Force Base. "Normally the volunteers who collect the goods will bring the goods to the nearest port of embarkation, which in this case would be Scott (AFB)," said Staff Sgt. John Ruiz, of the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "Due to some limiting factors on their end, the 375th LRS (members) took it upon themselves to come together and volunteer to pick it up from Red Bud."

Because of the large amount of cargo, squadron officials gathered 16 volunteers to drive out and pick it up. "We gathered as many personnel as we could from across the squadron to help out," Sergeant Ruiz said. "The squadron really came together donating money for gas, manpower and vehicles to haul it all back to Scott (AFB)."

The Denton Program is jointly administered by officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Through the program, humanitarian aid can be shipped at little or no cost to the donor. Donated items include clothing, food, medical and educational supplies, and agricultural equipment and vehicles, which are sent to countries in need while simultaneously putting the extra space on U.S. military transport assets to good use.

Transportation is generally available to nearby destinations such as Central and South America. However, the availability of transportation to particular countries is affected by current military and political situations. Transportation can neither be scheduled nor guaranteed; therefore it cannot be used to meet urgent needs or deadlines. In 2008, more than 600,000 pounds of humanitarian goods were sent to 17 different countries through the Denton Program.

ANN Salutes Senior Airman Andrew Davis 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs



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