More local soldiers head to Haiti with aid

January 19, 2010 10:34:24 AM PST
More troops are in the air headed to Haiti on cargo planes.Officials say they will provide stability to the island nation that's seeing more chaos as the days wear on.

"Just ready to go over and help people in need," 82nd Airborne Spec. Harmon Blanding said.

Commanders say they hope to have over 3,000 Bragg troops on the ground by midweek.

"We believe that in the next 48 hours we will have the entire 2nd BCT (Brigade Combat Team) in Haiti," 82nd Spokesman Maj. Brian Fickel said.

Fort Bragg is sending not just troops, but tons of equipment and supplies to sustain soldiers on the ground there.

Meanwhile in Haiti, for the first time the military is using jets to drop food and water to those in need.

Members of the 437th Airlift Wing left out of Pope Air Force Base Monday morning and completed their first successful humanitarian relief drop.

By dropping relief, more food and water can arrive faster. One trip will provide food for more than 24,000 people. About 40 pallets of food and water were released Monday.

Three hours after leaving Pope Air Force Base, soldiers were over a field somewhere north of Port-au-Prince.

The actual mission has been in the works for days.

ABC11 Reporter Rebecca Hall went to Haiti and back for the mission on board the C-17 Jet.

"This is a massive undertaking since Tuesday's quake," she said.

Until now the majority of relief pouring into the island nation has been going through the airport in Port-au-Prince, where only one runway is functioning.

For the airmen, another day at work means a small miracle for thousands of earthquake survivors.

Depending on the need, there will be more drop missions in the future with the 437th Airlift Wing.

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