15-Jan-2014 Source: AAR
AAR Airlift employees, assisting U.S. Department of Defense humanitarian relief efforts following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, have transported key personnel and delivered 250,000 pounds of food, water and medical supplies to remote areas in support of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC). The storm affected approximately 9.5 million people and ignited a five-week relief effort. Already providing airlift support aboard the USS Richard E. Byrd in the Pacific Ocean, AAR completed nine missions as part of the U.S. relief efforts known as Operation Damayan.
Flying 330J Puma helicopters, AAR Airlift flight crews utilized sling loads to deliver critical relief for the storm’s victims to narrow beach fronts and rice paddies.
AAR’s eight-member detachment included maintenance technicians and pilots, among them Officer in Charge Bill Willis who described the devastation. “I have never seen anything like it,” said Willis. “We saw total destruction over a widespread area, including remote islands. Because of our crew’s previous experience with such disasters, the Navy instructed us to identify areas in need and deliver the emergency supplies. Assisting this effort was very rewarding to all those involved.”
Typhoon Haiyan has been called one of the worst natural disasters in Philippines’ history, with a death toll exceeding 6,000 people and with more than 27,000 reported injured. AAR Airlift has been providing vertical replenishment support to the U.S. Navy ships in the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Gulf since 2007.
“I’d like to thank Airlift employees for their hard work supporting Operation Damayan and the U.S. Navy,” said Randy J. Martinez, President and CEO, AAR Airlift Group. “AAR is proud to have contributed to this recovery effort, and our hearts go out to the families who have lost so much in this devastating storm.”
AAR (NYSE: AIR), is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems.