The commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, presented an “Iron Mike” statuette to Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Raymond Johns for AMC’s transport of the 82nd Airborne Division to Haiti for relief operations following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. Helmick said, “The airmen, pilots, and flight crews were phenomenal, flexible, professional, and effective.” The statuette is a miniature of the original “Iron Mike” statue of an airborne trooper that has stood on Ft. Bragg, N.C., since 1961. AMC officials said transporting the 82nd took seven hours to plan and 100 hours to execute and employed 91 C-17 and C-130 loads. Helmick said “Many Haitian lives were saved because of their [the mobility force] actions.” In nearly a month of Haiti relief operations, more than 357 AMC aircraft have flown into Haiti, moving 5,000 personnel and 8,500 tons of cargo. (AMC release by Laura McAndrews)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.