HomeNewsArticle Display

USAID program keeps Kentucky Air Guard engaged with Haiti assistance

Master Sgt. Robert Brown, traffic manager for the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, moves pallets of food destined for Haiti in preparation for loading them onto U.S. Air Force planes March 13, 2012. The Kentucky Air National Guard is helping Children???s Lifeline, a Kentucky-based non-profit organization, ship food and other supplies to Haiti through the Denton Program. The Denton Program is a U.S. government effort that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Master Sgt. Robert Brown, traffic manager for the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, moves pallets of food destined for Haiti in preparation for loading them onto U.S. Air Force planes March 13, 2012. The Kentucky Air National Guard is helping Children's Lifeline, a Kentucky-based non-profit organization, ship food and other supplies to Haiti through the Denton Program. The Denton Program is a U.S. government effort that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Staff Sgt. Raymond Graves III, an air cargo specialist with the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, secures cargo netting on a pallet of humanitarian goods bound for Haiti on March 13, 2012. The Kentucky Air National Guard is helping Children???s Lifeline, a Kentucky-based non-profit organization, ship food and other supplies to Haiti through the Denton Program. The Denton Program is a U.S. government effort that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Staff Sgt. Raymond Graves III, an air cargo specialist with the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, secures cargo netting on a pallet of humanitarian goods bound for Haiti on March 13, 2012. The Kentucky Air National Guard is helping Children's Lifeline, a Kentucky-based non-profit organization, ship food and other supplies to Haiti through the Denton Program. The Denton Program is a U.S. government effort that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Aerial porters from the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron load humanitarian cargo bound for Haiti onto a KC-135 on the flight line of the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on April 15, 2012.  The effort was conducted through the Denton Program, a U.S. government initiative that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military planes to transport humanitarian goods. The cargo, provided by a Kentucky-based non-profit called Children???s Lifeline, included food and educational materials. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora)

Aerial porters from the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron load humanitarian cargo bound for Haiti onto a KC-135 on the flight line of the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on April 15, 2012. The effort was conducted through the Denton Program, a U.S. government initiative that allows private citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military planes to transport humanitarian goods. The cargo, provided by a Kentucky-based non-profit called Children's Lifeline, included food and educational materials. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- When 45 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard deployed to the Dominican Republic in 2010, they established a critical airlift hub that delivered more than 600 tons of food and medical supplies to Haitian citizens ravaged by a devastating earthquake.

Now, thanks to a humanitarian aid program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Airmen from the Kentucky unit are continuing to help their Haitian neighbors.

About 88,000 pounds of food and other supplies were shipped here recently for palletizing and uploading to U.S. Air Force transports bound for the Caribbean island nation.

"Our piece of the mission is supporting the delivery of and subsequent airlift of cargo and supplies," explained Chief Master Sgt. Ray Dawson, air terminal superintendent for the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. "We assist in coordination of aircraft, buildup of cargo onto pallets for air shipment, inspection of the cargo and loading of the cargo onto aircraft for shipment."

That effort is part of The Denton Program, an ongoing commodity transportation project jointly administered by USAID, the State Department and the Department of Defense. It allows private U.S. citizens and organizations to use space available on U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods at no charge, USAID officials said.

The supplies that the Kentucky Airmen prepared for shipment were provided by Children's Lifeline, a non-profit organization based in Clay City, Ky. The group has been sponsoring humanitarian and educational efforts in Haiti since 1989, said Donald Curtis, president and CEO.

The agency feeds more than 8,300 children a day, and supports the education of 7,000 children, he said. It also teaches skills such as sewing, welding and earthquake-proof construction.

"We've been bringing in food, school supplies, love bundles and hygiene kits for refugees and children before there was even an earthquake," Curtis noted. "We have a lot of kids that would have died if we hadn't been there, and many kids that wouldn't have an education if we weren't there."

Dawson said the Kentucky Air Guard has been involved with the Denton Program for several years and is pleased to continue the unit's earlier work in Haiti.

"Our Wing was on the front line, back at the base and in the deployed location, back in 2010," he said. "We witnessed every day the needs and struggles of the people of Haiti.

The Denton Program allows us to continue the mission we started in Haiti from our home base.