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Scott Air Force Base assists in Pakistan relief efforts

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - This morning, two Air Mobility Command C-17 aircraft flew into Chaklala Air Base, Pakistan, as part of the U.S. Department of Defense support for the Government of Pakistan in helping almost 2 million of its citizens displaced by military operations against violent extremists in its northwest provinces.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the extent of U.S. support for Pakistan Tuesday, and the role of DOD, which includes delivery of humanitarian aid. Directing the military aircraft to deliver meals, water trucks and tents for the Pakistan government begins here, at Scott AFB.

"We have been leaning forward to support U.S. Central Command in meeting its commitment for humanitarian airlift," said Army Col. Ken Lundgren, deputy director of operations and plans at U.S. Transportation Command. "We're directly supporting the Pakistan government in its emergency relief efforts to meet the urgent needs of its displaced people."

Air Mobility Command through its 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center puts USTRANSCOM's direction into action, providing command and control for the missions.

"The 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center is the military's point of contact for global airlift," said Maj. Gen. Mark S. Solo, 618th TACC commander. "618th TACC personnel plan the missions, allocate aircraft and crews to fly the missions, and we will stay in close contact with the crews to execute the missions through completion."

DOD will provide $10 million of the assistance the United States has pledged to Pakistan, underscoring the commitment to continuing its long-standing partnership, and helping to meet the immediate need. The U.S. and Pakistan have a history of working together effectively through humanitarian crises. In 2005, USTRANSCOM and AMC played vital roles in Pakistan earthquake relief operations.

"Airlift operations are a key element for the 618th TACC and AMC," said Solo. "We operate 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week to move people and equipment on a global scale. AMC forces, beginning with the 618th TACC, make delivering necessary, timely support a reality anywhere in the world."

Lundgren said the daily contributions by the 618th TACC and AMC are indispensable to USTRANSCOM and to the regional combatant commands. "We all rely on the resources they provide to meet such an urgent contingency and still maintain airlift and tanker operations around the world," said Lundgren.
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