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Face of Defense: Airmen Help Turkish Earthquake Relief

By Air Force Capt. William Russell
U.S. Air Forces in Europe

ERZURUM AIRPORT, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2011 – U.S. Air Forces in Europe sent a C-130J Super Hercules transports loaded with relief supplies to southeastern Turkey on Nov. 13 to aid victims of recent earthquakes there.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Members of the 37th Airlift Squadron, Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, Norwegian Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Marine Forces Europe load a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft with pallets of humanitarian supplies for transportation at Stjordal, Norway, Nov. 14, 2011. The mission is in support of the Turkey-led relief efforts following the Oct. 23 and Nov. 9 earthquakes in Van province, Turkey. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Wayne Clark

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The Van region of Turkey is coping with the aftereffects of a magnitude 7.2 quake that occurred Oct. 23 and a magnitude 5.7 temblor that occurred Nov. 9.

"First and foremost, our condolences go out to the people of Turkey affected by these natural disasters," said Air Force Capt. Bryan Swierenga, an aircraft commander with the 37th Airlift Squadron, part of the 86th Airlift Wing, based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. "Turkey is a resilient country, and the government will put these humanitarian supplies to good use."

As the air component for U.S. European Command, USAFE, which is also has its headquarters at Ramstein, delivered more than 28,000 pounds of supplies to the region, including 115 arctic tents, heaters and empty fuel canisters.

The Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization and Norwegian Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Stjordal, Norway, provided the relief supplies.

"It is always a great feeling to help out one of our allies," said Air Force Capt. Austin Rust, a pilot with the 37th AS. "It has been a cooperative effort from the start, with the State Department and Eucom taking charge by delivering these cold-weather supplies to the government of Turkey as they lead the relief efforts after two major earthquakes."


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