C-5Ms, C-17 Continue to Airlift COVID-19 Aid to India

Air Force airlift of aid to India continued in recent days, with three C-5Ms and one C-17 delivering COVID-19 testing kits, protective masks, and oxygen to the country.

The third aircraft was set to arrive May 3, with another set to arrive the next day, Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said during a May 3 briefing.

“Once all four missions are complete, four aircraft will have delivered tons of very needed critical supplies,” he said.

U.S. Transportation Command said on Twitter that the deliveries included more than one million N95 masks, more than 440 oxygen cylinders, and more than 1 million rapid diagnostic test kits. The U.S. Agency for International Development in a May 1 statement said one of the flights also carried a Deployable Oxygen Concentration System, donated by the state of California.

Oxygen has been in dire need in India as the country faces a rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak. The country on May 1 reported more than 400,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time, as the U.S. government announced it was taking steps to restrict travel from India, CNN reported. The aid flights to India began April 28. The Pentagon, through the Defense Logistics Agency and TRANSCOM, will “continue to assess” the need for additional aid going forward, Kirby said.