NATO Aircraft transports humanitarian aid for Haiti
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Wednesday 27 January at 1400hrs a NATO Trainer Cargo Aircraft (TCA) left Geilenkirchen Air Base with a humanitarian relief camp module from the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). The camp will be set up in Haiti and will host around 100 relief workers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. It includes beds, chairs, a kitchen, water purification units and toilets. The camp is sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The TCA flies to Miami International Airport, USA and the goods will be flown into Haiti on Friday. E-3A Component Commander, Brig.Gen. Burkhard Pototzky said: “I am glad that from the military side we can support the people in need by using our TCA, transporting equipment that’s of vital importance.”
This is not the first time that the TCA flies humanitarian aid. In 1996 the TCA was the first ever NATO marked aircraft that landed in Sarajevo in support of the peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia. On that historic mission the TCA transported humanitarian aid, which included, among other things, five tons of baby food and 600 cuddly toys to children in need. In 1999 the TCA continued to play an invaluable key role in saving lives flying humanitarian aid to the Turkish earthquake regions – bringing generators, medical equipment and blankets to the victims.
Recently, the TCA has been involved in two other humanitarian missions. In September 2005, the TCA was tasked to support the humanitarian relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the United States. The TCA transported more than 115 tons of aid; primarily beds and blankets to the victims of the storm. In October 2005, the TCA provided humanitarian aid in Islamabad, Pakistan. They transported more than 20 tons of cargo; primarily tents, heaters and blankets to the victims of the earthquake.
The NATO TCA is a modified Boeing 707-320C. The aircraft can be quickly changed from all-passenger to all-cargo configuration but is usually operated in a combined configuration carrying both cargo and passengers.