WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH, UNITED STATES
Story by Stacy Vaughn
The 445th Airlift Wing’s 89th Airlift Squadron flew more than 50,000 pounds of food and essential supplies to the Ukraine as part of the Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program Sept. 18-21 2020.
According to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s website, USAID.gov, the Denton Program allows private U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods to countries in need, including agricultural equipment, clothing, educational supplies, food, medical supplies and vehicles. The program is jointly administered by USAID, the Department of State, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the Department of Defense.
“It was great to be part of the Denton Humanitarian Assistance Mission to the Ukraine. The trip went smoothly, although it required a lot of behind the scenes planning and coordination from our current operations section,” said 89th AS C-17 pilot Maj. Ryan Fallon. “Everyone on the crew of 13 was mandated to have a negative COVID test result within 48 hours to land in the Ukraine. That was a hurdle we don’t normally see,” Fallon said.
The cargo was off-loaded at the Kyiv Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine, Sept. 19, 2020. It included 285,120 high-protein meals and 52,800 water purifying packets from A Child’s Hope International based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The donor organization is Mission Eurasia. Mission Eurasia created the “I Care” Refugee Assistance Program to provide emergency humanitarian aid for the people of Ukraine.
“It is always rewarding when you can help someone in need. Although the five pallets of food and essential supplies doesn’t seem like enough, it was a start to help the less fortunate especially in these times of need,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Vaughn, 89th AS loadmaster. “Hopefully, we can do more in the future to help them and their country. The support was awesome, and the people were very supportive and helpful to get the cargo to its final destination.”