TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A C-17 Globemaster III manned by an aircrew from the 21st Airlift Squadron departed Travis Air Force Base Aug. 28, venturing on a four-day mission to deliver 500 ventilators to Jakarta, Indonesia.
At President Trump’s direction, the United States Agency for International Development is shipping ventilators to dozens of countries to assist our partner nations in combating COVID-19.
The fact that the U.S. Air Force and American people can support the Indonesian Government with their fight against COVID-19 is exactly what Maj. Roger Gates, 21st Airlift Squadron instructor pilot, said he is proud to do.
“If we can go out there, help people and make them feel appreciated to let them know that America is out there thinking about them and that we desire the best things in their lives, I think that’s going to do a lot more good than we will ever know,” said Gates.
The United States committed to donating 1,000 ventilators to Indonesia, and USAID partnered with the Department of Defense to deliver 500 of those on behalf of the American people.
“Each one of those machines has the possibility to save an individual’s life,” said Gates. “These 500 may end up (saving) 1,000 or 10,000 people by the time we’re actually able to get a vaccine.”
The timely delivery of this cargo underscores the importance of rapid global mobility.
“This mission demonstrates Team Travis’ global mobility by giving aid across the globe in less than 48 hours,” said Senior Airman Brandon Reid, 21st AS loadmaster, who is supporting this mission. “Just like our ability to launch the entire aircraft fleet in just a few hours due to wildfire, Team Travis is able to make it to just about anywhere in the world in a moment’s notice.”
The 60th Aerial Port Squadron received and palletized the ventilators earlier in the week, and then loaded the ventilators onto the C-17 late in the evening Aug. 27. The aircraft took off in the morning, Aug. 28, and the aircrew is expected to deliver the ventilators to Indonesia Aug. 30.
“It feels good to know that we get to contribute to the mission,” said Senior Airman Jonathon Mora-Doctor, 60th Aerial Port Squadron special handler technician. “We are a piece that completes the puzzle.”
When a global health crisis arises, America responds with timely, appropriate, and expert assistance.
“There is always a crisis going on,” said Gates. “The Air Force never rests, the military never rests and America never rests. This mission, while it is super impactful to the Indonesian people, is just part of a larger global responsibility that the Air Force acts on because of the American people.”