The first two Air Force C-17 transport aircraft laden with humanitarian aid had arrived at Tbilisi international airport as of yesterday to help the people of the Republic of Georgia in the wake of Russia’s military incursion there, DOD officials announced Aug. 14. The relief flights are part of the US military’s ongoing humanitarian-relief mission that President Bush announced Aug. 13. Another Air Force transport brought in a six-man humanitarian assistance assessment team to determine the type of aid needed and how best to distribute it. The first C-17, departing from Ramstein AB, Germany, carried 16 pallets of relief supplies, including medicine, clothing, sleeping bags, cots, and other essential items. “We are in dire need of these supplies,” said Sergey Khomchenko, Georgian director of the Counterpart Community and Humanitarian Assistance Program, of the first relief flight. He added, “These supplies will surely save lives.” Earlier, Air Force C-17s had flown 2,000 Georgian troops back to Georgia from Iraq. (Includes Tbilisi report by Capt. Erin Dorrance, AFPS report by Jim Garamone, and AMC report by Capt. Shilo Weir)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.