Air Force Reservists based at Peterson head to Caribbean to help hurricane victims

A 302nd Airlift Wing loadmaster guides a cargo load onto an Air Force Reserve Command C-130 Hercules aircraft Sept. 25, at the San Juan International Airport, Puerto Rico. Two C-130 Hercules aircraft and 18 Reserve Citizen Airmen assigned to the 302nd AW are providing airlift in support of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations in the eastern Caribbean areas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Pabon)
A 302nd Airlift Wing loadmaster guides a cargo load onto an Air Force Reserve Command C-130 Hercules aircraft Sept. 25, at the San Juan International Airport, Puerto Rico. Two C-130 Hercules aircraft and 18 Reserve Citizen Airmen assigned to the 302nd AW are providing airlift in support of disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations in the eastern Caribbean areas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Pabon)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Two C-130 Hercules airplanes and 18 Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base are headed to the eastern Caribbean to help hurricane victims.

The airmen left Peterson on Saturday. Since then, they’ve flown airlift missions transporting cargo and supplies in support of the movement of Joint Task Force Leeward Islands’ base of operations from Puerto Rico to three Caribbean locations.

The move was necessary due to the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico and the need to have U.S. forces closer to St. Martin and Dominica, according to Peterson officials.

The move includes about 300 military personnel, eight helicopters, and four C-130 Hercules planes.

The call to support hurricane relief efforts came one week after the 302nd Airlift Wing ended its support of firefighting missions in California. C-130s from the Peterson-based reserve wing spent seven weeks supporting fire suppression efforts on more than 20 wildlfires in California.

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