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UPDATE: U.S. Military Planes Fly 328 Egyptians on 2nd Day of Transport Operations
(March 6, 2011) -- The U.S. military on March 6, 2011, continued providing safe transport for Egyptian citizens who wish to leave Tunisia and return to their home country as part of the ongoing U.S. and international response to the evolving
DJERBA, Tunisia -- Egyptian nationals who have fled to Tunisia from violence and instability in Libya are transported aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130J from Djerba, Tunisia to Cairo, Egypt, on March 5, 2011. This response to the developing humanitarian crisis is part of a broader U.S. government effort to relieve suffering caused by the crisis the in Libya. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 2: DJERBA, Tunisia -- Egyptian nationals who have fled to Tunisia from violence and instability in Libya are transported aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130J from Djerba, Tunisia to Cairo, Egypt, on March 5, 2011. This response to the developing humanitarian crisis is part of a broader U.S. government effort to relieve suffering caused by the crisis the in Libya. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens) Download full-resolution version
DJERBA, Tunisia -- U.S. airmen from the 435th Air Mobility Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base unload blankets, tarps and water containers donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development off of a C-130 aircraft in Djerba, Tunisia, March 4, 2011. The U.S. government is working intensely with the international community to meet the humanitarian needs of the Libyan people and others in the country who fled across the borders. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 2: DJERBA, Tunisia -- U.S. airmen from the 435th Air Mobility Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base unload blankets, tarps and water containers donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development off of a C-130 aircraft in Djerba, Tunisia, March 4, 2011. The U.S. government is working intensely with the international community to meet the humanitarian needs of the Libyan people and others in the country who fled across the borders. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens) Download full-resolution version
DJERBA, Tunisia -- Egyptian nationals who have fled to Tunisia from violence and instability in Libya are transported aboard a U.S. Air Force C-130J from Djerba, Tunisia to Cairo, Egypt, on March 5, 2011. This response to the developing humanitarian crisis is part of a broader U.S. government effort to relieve suffering caused by the crisis the in Libya. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens)
DJERBA, Tunisia -- U.S. airmen from the 435th Air Mobility Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base unload blankets, tarps and water containers donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development off of a C-130 aircraft in Djerba, Tunisia, March 4, 2011. The U.S. government is working intensely with the international community to meet the humanitarian needs of the Libyan people and others in the country who fled across the borders. (Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Brendan Stephens)
(March 6, 2011) -- The U.S. military on March 6, 2011, continued providing safe transport for Egyptian citizens who wish to leave Tunisia and return to their home country as part of the ongoing U.S. and international response to the evolving humanitarian emergency on the Libya-Tunisia border. Four U.S. military aircraft -- three U.S. Air Force C-130J and one U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 -- supported the effort by flying the second daily rotation of U.S. military-supported flights from Djerba, Tunisia, to Cairo, Egypt. The fourth and final U.S. military flight today departed Djerba shortly before 5 p.m. Central European Time (CET) carrying 82 Egyptian nationals for a flight to Cairo that was expected to last approximately three hours and 30 minutes. Combined, the four U.S. aircraft on March 6 transported 328 Egyptian nationals, mainly men who had been working in Libya before violence flared on February 17 when the Libyan leaders cracked down on protesters demanding government reforms. [See U.S. military response efforts for more stories, photos and videos] In two days of rotating flights, the U.S. military has flown a total of 640 Egyptians from Djerba to Cairo aboard eight separate aircraft sorties. The airlift operations are being overseen by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and began less than twenty-four hours after President Barack Obama announced his approval to use U.S. military aircraft to help transport Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border. Crews of the Air Force C-130Js have used Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, on the island of Crete, as a hub and crew-rest location. Crews of the Marine Corps KC-130s have used Naval Station Sigonella, Italy, on the island of Sicily, as hub for their role in the operations. As part of a massive international effort, thousands of Egyptians have returned home from the Tunisia-Libya border on aircraft and ferries belonging to or chartered by governments from around the world. The U.S. flights on March 6 were a continuation of the U.S. AFRICOM effort that began March 4 when two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft delivered humanitarian aid supplies to Djerba from the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) storage warehouse at Leghorn Army Depot in Pisa, Italy. The OFDA donations included 2,000 blankets, 40 rolls of plastic sheeting, and 9,600 10-liter plastic water containers. The C-130s were flown from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The U.S. military is playing a supporting role in the much larger U.S. government emergency response. These U.S. military aircraft fill a critical niche in being able to provide short-haul passenger transport. About U.S. Africa Command The United States Africa Command, also known as U.S. AFRICOM, is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). As one of six that are regionally focused, it is devoted solely to Africa. U.S. AFRICOM is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for U.S. military relations with 53 African countries. U.S. AFRICOM better enables the Department of Defense to work with other elements of the U.S. government and others to achieve a more stable environment where political and economic growth can take place. The command was created by presidential order in 2007 and was officially activated October 1, 2007. It became fully operational October 1, 2008, with General William E. "Kip" Ward serving as its first commander. AFRICOM Mission Statement U.S. AFRICOM, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.
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