Ramstein Air Base designated as hub for quake relief transport
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — NATO and U.S. military cargo aircraft will use Ramstein Air Base as an air hub to transport donations from allied countries to earthquake victims in Pakistan.
A pair of U.S. Air Force C-17s on Wednesday were to fly 100 tons of aid from Europe to the region, said Maj. Riccardo Dentici, who is serving as a liaison between NATO and U.S. forces at Ramstein.
The planes will include such items as blankets, tents and food from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. Dentici said allowing NATO to help transport humanitarian aid makes sense because the alliance is accustomed to coordinating missions with people from different nations.
“We are ready to fight, ready to do war, but also ready to operate in this way,” he said. “And this is the way we most like.”
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Army Europe are providing logistics support, personnel and equipment to help in handling storage and loading of the NATO-donated relief supplies to Ramstein, according to USAFE.
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, also will serve as a logistics hub.
The Pakistan government has urged countries to rush winterized tents and blankets to the region because snow has begun to fall in parts of the disaster areas, according to a NATO Oct. 17 situation report.
NATO member nations and partners can request NATO to airlift donations to Pakistan by trucking the supplies to Ramstein, where they will be loaded onto cargo planes. As of Oct. 14, 35 nations have offered help to Pakistan through NATO.
American airmen and French military personnel on Wednesday prepared to pack the supplies into the C-17 planes as soon as they were ready to fly.