JBSA Airmen support Türkiye/Syria earthquake relief efforts

  • Published
  • By Jim Bono
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to Joint Base San Antonio’s 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, in coordination with the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, prepared approximately 68 short tons of medical equipment for movement to Incirlik AB, Türkiye, in less than 48 hours.

The medical supplies will be used to help the people affected by recent devastating earthquakes that struck south-central Türkiye and parts of Syria in recent weeks.

“This type of mission allows our team to demonstrate all our capabilities here at the air terminal,” said Capt. Joe Arguijo, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron director of operations. “At first, we needed to make sure all the teams participating were in concurrence with the plan, and once we came together, we executed the mission seamlessly.”

The team mobilized to build pallets for commercial transport from Kelly Field and conducted airfield operations functions in support of the movement.

According to the team, the support pallets included critical lifesaving medical supplies needed for the Türkiye humanitarian mission.

This was a combined operation involving four different squadron-level organizations including ground transportation, the traffic management office, air transporters and logistics planners. It took the team about 11 hours of thorough inspection to ensure the cargo was safe for flight.

“The team was motivated to support such an important mission given the health and trauma needs on the ground in Türkiye,” said Col. Shamekia Toliver, 502nd Installation Support Group commander. “They met the 48-hour need time with 12 hours to spare, and I could not be prouder of our team.”

The supplies were airlifted Tuesday morning and will arrive at Incirlik Air Base where they will be shipped to the affected region.

There have been multiple major earthquakes in the Türkiye and Syria since Feb. 6. To date, nearly 50,000 people have died in both Türkiye and Syria, and many thousands more are injured. The United States has committed to providing humanitarian aid to the region.