By Army Capt. Bryan Woods
Special to American Forces Press Service
Aug. 14, 2008 - The U.S. Army's 21st Theater Sustainment Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe began working Aug. 12 to begin emergency humanitarian assistance for the people of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Soldiers from 66th Transportation Company and 39th Transportation Battalion and airmen from 723rd Air Mobility Squadron worked 36 straight hours to load onto pallets more than 75,000 pounds of tents, blankets, bedding, hygiene items, clothing, beds, cots and medical supplies to support the mission.
The humanitarian aid supplies were provided from State Department stock at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center Europe's humanitarian assistance program warehouse in Pirmasens, Germany.
An air load planning officer was in charge of the load as it was received and placed onto aviation pallets. After the loads were inventoried, certified, weighed and strapped down, they were handed over to the Air Force for loading and transport to the destination.
"It's a good feeling to be able to do something good for someone during a situation like this," Army Sgt. Henry Pinckney, of 5th Quartermaster Company, said. "I think it is important because you never know when you are going to be the one requiring help one day."
Army Capt. Gabriel Legendry, of 39th Transportation Battalion, in charge of the loading site at the deployment processing center, said the effort is worthwhile.
"When we are working against the clock with a 24-hour turnaround, everyone is working hard," he said, "but it brings a lot of joy to do something good for someone."
(Army Capt. Bryan Woods serves in the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs Office.)