The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron provided Operations Ukraine Company with support on Monday for a humanitarian airlift of a solar generator going to Gonaives, Haiti.
“Since the natural disaster in Haiti, the country is still recovering, and we are working with Operations Ukraine to help them,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Salter, 56th LRS Air Terminal Operations assistant NCO in-charge.
Haiti was hit by an earthquake Jan. 12, 2010, near the town of Léogâne with the catastrophic magnitude of 7. At least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater were recorded by Jan. 24. An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, which, in part, accounts for its slow recovery from the effects of the earthquake. Recovery is coming that much slower to remote areas, which is where the generator will provide power for an orphanage school and medical clinic.
“The generator is important because it will allow the clinic to stay open at night, run microscopes and keep a refrigerator,” said Kathy Cadden, Operations Ukraine founder and director of operations. “It will also provide electricity for the school.”
Although Operations Ukraine typically works with the 161st Air National Guard Unit at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, having a C-17 from Altus AFB, Okla., at the Luke Air Force Base Open House and Air Show provided the company with an opportunity to utilize the aircraft.
Airmen from LRS received the generator and assisted with loading it onto the C-17. The aircraft returned to its home base to pick up remaining parts before departing for Haiti.
The generator is scheduled to arrive in Gonaives on March 21. It sits on a generator that will enable the Haitians to take it to the remote location.
“I’m glad I’m able to help those in Haiti affected by the earthquake,” Salter said. “I think it’s great the Air Force helps victims worldwide. This airlift has given me the personal satisfaction of being able to affect the lives of people who are in great need as far away as Haiti.”