BASSETERRE, St. Kitts and Nevis -- A C-17 Globemaster III joint aircrew from the 315th and 437th Airlift wing’s from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, delivered about 10,000 pounds of humanitarian aid April 6, to St. Kitts-Nevis.
These condensed missions provide active duty Airman and reservist alike the opportunity to accomplish required training, as well as the opportunity to give back through the humanitarian mission.
“This is a win-win,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ken Hundemer, a 317th Airlift Squadron loadmaster from JB Charleston. Hundemer works as the Denton Program manager in Charleston, South Carolina, in his civilian life as well.
The aid was coordinated through the Denton Program, enacted in 1985, that provides non-governmental agencies, international organizations and private voluntary donors the opportunity use military aircrafts when there is space available to transport humanitarian aid.
According to the Denton application, it is estimated 13,000 St. Kittitian households are classified as poor, with approximately 25 percent of the population generating less than $53 of weekly income.
“Seeing the smiles on the people’s faces when they receive the meals make it all worthwhile,” said Chris Findlay, aid partner and Source Global Purchasing and Logistics CEO and president in Mount Pleasant, S.C., who was on hand to help accept the delivery.
These food packets will provide 70,000 safe and nutrition enriched meals to 5,952 men, women and children of St. Kitts and Nevis, as stated by the community-based organizations of ATime4US Foundation, Inc., Mickey’s HOPE, and the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.
In addition to providing aid to those in need, the mission provided the opportunity for a joint aircrew to obtain required mission training.
“This is an excellent opportunity to enhance the Air Force’s training mission, as well as meeting the humanitarian aspect,” Hundemer said.
Capt. Amanda Harman, a 14th AS C-17 pilot from JB Charleston, received cross-ocean training, which is mandatory for pilots to accomplish at least twice a year. Cross-ocean training is normally conducted on a longer timeline of five to 10 days, but this mission allowed Harman the opportunity to accomplish it in two days. Missions like this improve efficiency of Airmen and increase the opportunities for unique training.
“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to train with the experienced pilots of the (315th AW) and I look forward to future missions,” Harman said.
All in all, this joint mission impacted the lives of nearly 6,000 Caribbean citizens through JB Charleston Airmen answering the call for humanitarian aid and aid partners with a passion to serve.