Flight Commence to Darfur

The two C-17s dispatched to Kigali, Rwanda, to transport vehicles and heavy equipment for the African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s Darfur region each conducted their first flights to Darfur Jan. 13. Each C-17 hauled about 30 tons of material. Overall, these two C-17s will move about 150 tons of equipment and supplies over the coming days or weeks, including nine oversized vehicles, water purification systems, water trailers, tents, and spare parts for the peacekeepers, which include Rwandan troops. Seventeenth Air Force, the air component of US Africa Command, is playing a leading role in the mission, which is AFRICOM’s first major peacekeeping support mission since assuming full operations last October. (Kigali report by Eric Elliot)