18th Air Force Public Affairs
1/25/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Air
Mobility Command contingency response, maintenance and support
personnel, and air crews continue to support the movement of French
troops and cargo to Mali.
To date Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft have flown 18 missions
delivering 574 passengers and 477 short tons of French cargo as part of
U.S. Africa Command's effort to support French operations in Mali.
"Our Airmen are working around the clock with the French to prepare
their equipment for shipment," said Col. Kevin Oliver, commander of the
818th Contingency Response Group, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst,
N.J., whose forces were among the earliest to arrive in France to set up
the airlift stage. "Our Airmen started deployment preparations within
an hour of getting the call from our headquarters, and we haven't
France requested U.S. and international support for their efforts to
halt the advance of Islamist rebels into territory held by Mali's
"I commend France for taking the steps that it has, and what we have
promised them is that we will work with them, to cooperate with them,
and to provide whatever assistance we can to try to help them in that
effort," said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Planners at Headquarters, 18th Air Force and the 618th Air and Space
Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) at Scott AFB, Ill.;
contingency response forces from the 621st Contingency Response Wing at
Joint Base MDL, N.J.; and Airmen at Dover AFB, Del., and Joint Base
Lewis-McChord, Wash., worked through the holiday weekend and have not
stopped since supporting the international effort, officials said.