NEW DELHI, Nov.27: The 12 C-130s, multipurpose transport planes of the U.S.Air Force, have begun?
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Background: NEW DELHI, Nov.27: The 12 C-130s, multipurpose transport planes of the U.S.Air Force, have begun airlift of military equipment, supplies and personnel to forward areas in India's northern frontiers.
The C-130 is a huge aircraft with a capacity of more than 30 tons and a cruising speed of nearly 335 miles an hour.
Early this month, another arm of the U.S.Air Force, the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) took park in a round-the-clock emergency airlift of U.S.military equipment to Calcutta.MATS put into service its fastest, biggest and most modern cargo aircraft of the U.S.Air Force -- the C-135s.For 10 days the gigantic C-135s brought in military supplies and equipment urgently requested by the Indian Government.In all they completed 80 missions flying nonstop from Germany to Calcutta.
The C-130s, the successor to the huge C-124 Globemaster and fore-runner of the C-135 Boeing, belong to USAFE's 322nd Air Force Division, headquartered at Evreux-Fauville Air Base, France, which, like MATS, has a long record of service in humanitarian causes.Almost every recent major international disaster, both political and natural, in Europe, Africa and the Middle East has brought forth spontaneous succour from USAFE's 322nd Division.
Here are a few notable instances of the 322nd Division's global mercy mission in recent years:
It furnished extensive logistic support for "Operation Safe Haven" following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and airlifted more than 14,000 Hungarian refugees to new homes in the United States.
In October 1957, when Tunisia and Morocco were invaded by locust swarms, the 322nd Division put into service its C-130 Hercules turbo-prop transport to deliver tons DDT to the two nations.
In July 1958, in response to a call from the Lebanon, the 322nd airlifted U.S.troops and supplies from Germany to the Lebanon.
In March 1960, the Division commissioned its C-130s to fly men and relief supplies to victims of earthquake-crumbled Agadir, Morocco.
The same year in July, the 322nd immediately responded to a call from the U.N.Secretary General Hammarskjold and within 10 days delivered 5,000 troops and nearly one million pounds of food to strife-torn Congo.
Early November, 1960, six C-130s flew bulk quantities of blankets, sulfa drugs, anti-malaria and multivitamin tablets to cyclone-hit East Pakistan.
Exactly a year later -- November, 1961, the C-130s helped the Royal Air Force of Britain airdrop food and relief supplies to flood victims in Kenya and flew a nine-man medical team and 12,000 pounds of medical supplies from Germany to the flood-stricken Republic of Somalia, in east Africa.
More recently in September, 1962, within hours after an earthquake devastated cities in Iran, the mighty fleet of the 322nd Division was on the wing with for quake victims.C-130 crews set up a 2,500 mile-long lifeline across Europe to the Middle East over which they flew more than one million pounds of relief supplies within 68 hours of the first earthquake.Twenty-eight Hercules airlifted 1,000 tents, 10,000 blankets and a 100-bed mobile hospital complete with 18 doctors, 22 nurses and a preventive medicine team, to help victims in the 25,000 square-mile quake-ravaged area.
And last but not least, last week when word went round from the Government of India to the U.S.Government for emergency transport planes, the 322nd was called on and immediately loaned 12 of its Hercules transport aircraft which are now airlifting military supplies, equipment and personal to forward areas in the Himalayas where Indian troops are fighting to repel the Communist Chinese aggressors.If the past record of C-130 of USAFE is any guide, they can be depended upon to do a good job in their new Himalayan mission.