Feed the children!

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Dale Place
  • 27th Aerial Port Squadron
Since my last blog about a year ago, 27APS has moved 276,340 pounds of humanitarian food to two different locations-Afghanistan and Haiti. That is a total of 47 standard Air Force pallets of meals that will feed hundreds of people for months. Each box contains meals made from primarily rice and other nutritional items. This food was processed through the Denton Program headquartered at Charleston AFB, S.C.

The Denton Program was created by Alabama Senator and former Vietnam Prisoner of War Jeremiah Denton in an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. He understood the need for humanitarian assistance in developing third-world countries and in 1985 his amendment was implemented. Among several parameters for using the program, it allows the use of an Air Force aircraft to fly donated items at no cost to the donor.

The food was packaged by volunteers from Kids against Hunger, Food for Kidz, Impact Lives and Feed my Starving Children. They build up small boxes and stack onto skids that are delivered to 27APS for processing.

Each movement of cargo also helps the Aerial Port by providing much needed "real world" training. We do everything from unloading the trucks, palletizing, completing all the paperwork and finally loading aircraft. We load aircraft such as C-17's, C-5's and KC-10's. Airframes we don't normally get to work with in Minneapolis.

We also move larger equipment. We are currently waiting to hear that three fire trucks have been approved to be shipped to Nicaragua. Once all the approvals come in, we'll travel to Volk Field and process each truck for shipment on a C-17 or C-5. The fire trucks are donated by Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners from Stevens Point Wisconsin. They purchase retired fire trucks and other vehicles and send them to South America. Each vehicle is greatly appreciated, as they are used to save many lives as emergency vehicles.

The Aerial Port Squadron stays active in the humanitarian cargo world and enjoys the opportunities provided and knowing we are helping people around the world make their life a little better.