JOINT BASE LANGLEY- EUSTIS, Va. --
Editor’s Note: This article is part of series highlighting Joint Base Langley-Eustis members’ contribution to humanitarian relief efforts from JBLE.
In normal day-to-day operations the small air terminal supports the 633rd Air Base Wing in passenger and cargo transport to locations around the world.
But, the Tanker Airlift Control Center from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, recently tagged the local unit to accomplish a much more intense mission -- to assist in the loading of a transport for humanitarian relief efforts to the Caribbean Islands.
According to Tech. Sgt. Eugene Floyd, 733rd Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal noncommissioned in charge of operations, getting the opportunity to directly support the Puerto Rico relief efforts and manage the deployment of the Fort Story Inland Cargo Transfer Company in Virginia allowed his Airmen to work right next to their U.S. Army counterparts.
Floyd’s team, with the assistance of the Fort Story Unit, successfully loaded seven C-17 Globemaster aircraft with more than 360 tons of cargo and 70 members in just over 33 hours.
“Providing disaster relief brings a sense of accomplishment when you see those aircraft takeoff after you have just worked so hard,” Floyd said. “I was extremely impressed in how our team of Airmen came together to accomplish this mission, showing the true grit that they have to make it happen.”
According to Master Sgt. William Linford, 733rd LRS small air terminal manager, being able to get all the units’ equipment pre-staged and inspected to joint service standards allowed for the teams to efficiently load all the cargo.
While the small air terminal is balancing their normal daily missions and one deployment, Linford managed two more important missions. The first was assisting in the deployment of the Global Response Medical Force from the Air Force side of JBLE that supplies a mobile hospital and the second being the Rapid Port Opening Element from the Fort Eustis side.
This meant taking on an influx of over 200 tons of cargo, 150 more passengers, and seven more aircraft on the flight line, all with their team of nine Airmen.
“No matter what the hours are, the mindset of our Airmen is the gear has got to go, especially when it involves humanitarian airlift,” said Linford. “The Airmen were the ones [who] pushed through and got the job done, they were driving the train to knock it out and make it happen.”
According to Linford, his team had the opportunity to really see the efforts hit home as they had five unit individuals who have family in the Caribbean Islands , show up to fly as Space Available passengers. With the approval of Air Combat Command, the terminal was able to fill those seats and help get additional supplies to those in need.
“Whenever we were working with those families and good Samaritans to help get supplies to families, it really hit me,” Linford said. “There is a feeling of accomplishment just moving the units, but adding the families just made it more impactful.”