VISIONS Newsletter - Nov-Dec, 2005 - Published Bi-Monthly
|Hurricane Katrina, The Aftermath
Let Us Not Forget . . .
How the most powerful nation in the world
responded to the needs of its own citizens!
”And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40 - KJV
Yes, the most powerful nation in history, capable of sending humanitarian aid anywhere in the world within a matter of
hours; a nation armed with a variety of resources deliverable by land, air and sea, took five days to begin delivering aid to
its American citizens, citizens many of whom pay taxes to support world relief efforts to others.
Merely one-thousand, ninety-nine miles from Washington, DC, thousands of human beings, many not old enough to have
yet learned to take care of themselves, and some old enough to have forgotten how to take care of themselves; waited.
They sat in attics, on rooftops or in crowded drug, crime and disease infested buildings without food, water, or toilet
They waited, often in stench and garbage and human waste and all manner of degradation, intensified by ninety degree
plus heat and a growing sense of abandonment. They waited, many whose greatest crime was that of being in the wrong
place at the wrong time. Some ill, some injured, some simply hungry, thirsty, and afraid; they waited, while the greatest
nation in the world planned a relief effort.
While Louisiana National Guardsmen, many from the New Orleans area, fulfilled their sworn duty one-half world away,
helping bring freedom and dignity to those in a faraway desert land; their families suffered and waited, and waited, and
waited for help; from just one-thousand, ninety-nine miles away.
Thank Almighty God for those policemen, firemen, medical personnel, aid workers, friends, neighbors, and strangers who
in many cases went beyond the limits of their training, responsibility, and perceived ability, to help those in need. Thank
Almighty God for those who have given, when they thought they had nothing to give. Thank Almighty God for those who
Thank Almighty God for people like our friend Margaret Gibson, who despite long, tiring hours doing her job involving
claims for Katrina victims, accepted the additional challenge of personally taking in, caring for, and encouraging victims
that found their way to the Houston, Texas area. It is through her we were able to channel our meager but heartfelt
contributions and offer a little assistance.
Thank Almighty God for people like you and you and you, for you stepped forward with what you had, and what you had
coming; while the government of the greatest nation in the world took five days to “travel” one-thousand, ninety-nine miles.
And yet according to the following information, we are capable of so much better, and have done so much more!
From Airman Magazine, December 2001
Airmen supporting the Enduring Freedom humanitarian airdrop mission delivered twice the number of meals — about
70,000 — to Afghan refugees and made military airlift history during a mission in October.
“This was the first time we’ve conducted a four-ship — four C-17s — high-altitude combat drop of humanitarian supplies,”
said Col. Bob Allardice, humanitarian airdrop mission commander.
Members of the 315th Operations Group from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., assisted active-duty members as the first
reservists to participate in this groundbreaking humanitarian operation.
The C-17s, each with a crew of about 10 airmen, flew almost 10,000 miles round trip to make the drop.
“It’s significant because it takes a tremendous effort to assemble four airplanes with all the supplies in one place and to fly
the great strategic distances that are flown to deliver 70,000 humanitarian daily rations,” Allardice said.
The missions are flown under combat conditions from a higher altitude than ever before, making for a “very dangerous
As the crews approached the drop zone, they depressurized the planes and opened the cargo doors. The pilots then
pulled the aircraft nose up approximately seven degrees, and the loadmasters released the ration-filled tri-wall aerial
Once the specialized delivery containers are slid out the back, the air blast pulls the TRIADS apart, and the humanitarian
daily rations “flutter down,” said Col. James B. Roberts Jr., the group commander.
In early October, aircraft flew daily out of Ramstein, Air Base, Germany, each with 42 boxes loaded with about 17,500
humanitarian daily rations. In the first few days, crews airdropped more than 140,000 of the meals to Afghan refugees.
“The host wing, the 86th Airlift Wing, is supplying both tactical planners to help us plan our missions as well as riggers to
work with the Army’s 5th Quartermaster Company,” Allardice said.
More than 40 soldiers with the quartermaster company have teamed with airmen from Ramstein’s 37th Airlift Squadron to
help assemble delivery containers and load them onto the C-17s.
Operation Enduring Freedom’s war on terrorism has many facets. Allardice said for the humanitarian part of the war, his
team is focused on the Department of Defense’s goal of feeding the Afghan people.
And on the topic of Afghan relief, from the www.sfgate.com web site comes this revelation:
“Despite bombings, lootings and red tape, international relief organizations said they are finding creative ways to
deliver relief supplies to millions of needy Afghans.
"In one way or another, we have been able to get trucks through every day since the bombing began," said
Charles Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which is trucking blankets, food, medicine and shelter
materials into the country.
In addition to trucks, the United Nations has employed a complicated network of barges, airlifts and even caravans
of donkeys to bring supplies into isolated parts of the Asian country.
Publisher’s Question: Once again, why did it take five days to get to New Orleans?