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ST. LUCIA -- Reservists from the 315th Airlift Wing delivered more than 38,000 pounds of humanitarian aid to the island nations of St. Lucia and Haiti Dec. 15 and 16.
The missions involved two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft delivering humanitarian aid, medical and school supplies, food and construction equipment valued at more than $130,000, courtesy of the Good News Project, Inc. from Waussau, Wis. and the Apostolic Christian World Relief Organization.
"This was a very rewarding mission to be able to bring a jet full of supplies to these people who really need it," said 1st Lt. Sean Gribben, a pilot from the 300th Airlift Squadron. "This kind of mission is great, we really get to help people who need it."
Missions like these are made possible by the Denton Amendment, a state department/U.S. Aid program allowing the delivery of donated humanitarian aid to fly on Air Force assets on a space available basis.
According to Lee Thompson from the U.S. Embassy in the Eastern Caribbean based in Barbados, these types of missions further the relationships between our nations.
"The humanitarian relief that we provide to these islands contributes to the mutual relationship that the American people, through its embassy, want to foster, and that is really the goal of the American mission in the Eastern Caribbean," Thompson said.
The mission was also a training mission for the reserve aircrew members on the jet. Master Sgt. Drew Cheek, an evaluator loadmaster assigned to the 300th AS, conducted two evaluations (or check rides) on aircraft crewmembers.
"These kinds of missions are great for conducting evaluations. The loadmasters get to see and work with different types of cargo, plus you get to help people who need it," Cheek said.
As a new pilot on his second humanitarian mission, Gribben was also training on this mission.
"I love flying these missions, I feel like I have greatest job in the world, it is very rewarding," said Gribben. "These are perfect missions to help train reservists."