Pacific Air Forces continues to send airmen and assets to Nepal to assist with recovery efforts following the devastating late April 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which claimed more than 7,000 lives and injured 14,000 more. Four C-130s assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota AB, Japan, recently deployed to Nepal to assist Joint Task Force-505, which US Pacific Command activated May 1 to support the US State Department, US AID, and other agencies in relief efforts. Enough Yokota-based maintainers, security force members, logisticians, contracting personnel, and others also deployed to sustain operations for up to 30 days, according to a May 7 base release. In addition, an emergency medical package, including a five-man surgical team deployed. From Andersen AFB, Guam, a 42-person team from the 36th Contingency Response Group—a rapid deployment unit capable of securing and operating airfields—deployed to Nepal, according to a May 7 release. The airmen represent 20 different Air Force career fields and will be tasked with accelerating airfield operations and increasing airlift capacity, said Capt. Brint Ingersoll, with the 36th CRG operations office.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.