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   Vol. 16 No. 80
Friday October 6, 2017

Air Cargo Aid Hangs Tough As Need Expands
Air Cargo Hangs Tough

     The string of recent natural disasters, not just the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and the continental U.S., but also the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that shook central Mexico, wrecked untold havoc, affecting millions of people.
     These terrible disasters brought out the full force of the U.S. cargo airline industry, as well as FEMA and the U.S. Military, to deliver immediate relief.

Joining Hands Saving Lives

     Looking at the broad sweep of activities as these climate challenges have increased, cargo carriers and government agencies have worked in tandem to deliver relief supplies while U.S. passenger carriers have answered the call to assist in the evacuation effort, especially in Puerto Rico in the sad and well-publicized aftermath of its worst ever natural disaster.


Freighters Fly In

     The first commercial freighter into San Juan after Hurricane Maria was an AmeriJet 767-300F.
AmeriJet, the last of the U.S. all-cargo schedule airlines, has continued to operate 3 of its seven 767 freighters each day into San Juan carrying generators, water, medical supplies, baby food, and other relief supplies.

Air Mobility To The Rescue

     As the commercial carriers and FEMA rushed to assist the island, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) carried the bulk of the supplies, while also delivering military personnel to help restore the island.
AMC may be an unfamiliar name to many people—Americans and non-Americans—but that will certainly change as increasingly AMC serves as the first responder in many high-profile relief efforts.

Aid Movements

What Is AMC?

     AMC is a branch of USTC (U.S. Transportation Command), ably commanded by USAF General Daren McDew.
     In his role as USTC Commander he reports directly to the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), responsible for coordinating all logistics for the U.S. Military—land, sea and air.
     AMC is the largest component of USTC, which is led by another great USAF 4-star, General Carlton (Dewey) Everhart.

Biggest All Cargo Fleet In The World

     Gen. Dewey commands the largest all cargo air fleet in the world, including 55 giant C-5 Super Galaxies, 222 C-17 Globemasters (purpose built for heavily laden short take-offs and landings on austere runways), 281 C-130 Hercules, and 456 air refueling tankers (KC-10A, KC-135, and the soon to be deployed KC-46).
     This massive military air cargo lift is augmented by the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), a partnership that also includes most U.S. commercial carriers.

What AMC Does & Doesn’t

     You might, dear reader, wonder what General Everhart does with this remarkable airlift capacity.
But it would be easier to list what AMC doesn’t do.
     AMC does not compete with the commercial industry, but does respond to all sorts of crises, most notably mobilizing its cargo fleet for disaster relief as for example in the wake of the recent storms.
     So the one-two punch of Hurricane Harvey and then Marie have become a challenge to the AMC, turning it into a 24-hour-a-day operation.

Ready In An Instant

     At a moment’s notice, thousands of AMC staff jumped into action to develop and execute logistics and operations plans to provide disaster relief.
     AMC moved hundreds of tons of equipment, from trackers for clearing debris to generators to help restore power.

Tough To Exceed The Need

     The confluence of so many natural disasters has challenged these dedicated people to an even greater level of planning and precision in execution. Huge volumes of medical supplies, meals ready-to-eat, water and other humanitarian aid, along with hundreds of highly trained disaster response teams are needed for the hurricane disaster zone and the earthquake victims in Mexico City.
     Timing was and still is critical to get the goods and personnel on the ground immediately to provide relief and save lives.
     All of this relief so vital to a suffering people must be operational even when the airports in Puerto Rico and neighboring islands lose their ability to control air traffic.
     In these cases, AMC first flights carry mobile air traffic control centers.
     In addition, AMC transported task forces of firefighters with pallets of shovels, jacks, fuel, and chain saws to the rescue operation hours before FEMA was activated.

Help Without Borders

     AMC’s humanitarian mission knows no borders—it responded with equal dedication and energy to Mexico’s devastating earthquake and has provided relief around the world, in places as far afield as Pakistan and Indonesia.
     AMC personnel are proud of their rapid response, and honored to serve as a global 9-1-1 in times of natural disaster.
     More about AMC, including its regular mission moving military equipment around the world for America’s armed services, and the part that CRAF plays in augmenting that effort, will be the subject of my next article.
     Your comments are welcome.
Bill Boesch

Boesch MilitaryMr. Boesch started his career in global transportation and logistics in 1965 working for Seaboard World Airlines. He later joined Flying Tiger Airlines and Emery Worldwide. Mr. Boesch then left Emery to become Pan American World Airways’ Senior Vice President where he headed both Passenger and Cargo Sales and Operations. He left Pan Am to lead American Airlines’ Cargo operation and retired from AA in 1998. Under his direction American became a world leader in the air cargo and logistics business.
     Mr. Boesch was part of the extensive on site planning and support of the Iraq drawdown, involvement with the Afghanistan operations, and has worked on all aspects of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) from both an airline and government standpoint.
     Mr. Boesch has also served as Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Cargo Executive Subcommittee in 1996 and 1997, Vice Chairman of IATA’s Cargo Committee. Mr. Boesch served on the Board of Directors of Air Cargo Incorporated, Air Cargo International, The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), Envirotainer, Cargo Logistics Solutions, Deutsche Post/DHL Global Mail, al Seqir and consulted for major U.S. companies including Flight Safety.
     Mr. Boesch is the recipient of numerous awards including the Lifetime Air Cargo Achievement Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and various awards from the U.S. Department of Defense.
     Mr. Boesch is presently continuing his work for the U.S. Government and heads up The Council For Logistics Research.

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