133rd Airlift Wing Supports Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program Honduras
By Tech. Sgt. Bristol Evasco, 133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 13, 2020
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Members with the Minnesota National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing Air Transportation Function (ATF) supported a Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program movement to Danli, Honduras. The Denton Program is a Department of Defense transportation program which transfers humanitarian supplies donated by U.S.-based Non-Government Organizations to developing nations to ease human suffering.
This joint operation, including a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to March Air Force Base in Riverside County, California, arrived at the 133rd Airlift Wing to pick up supplies donated by Interfaith Service to Latin America. This particular shipment included walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, ramps, specialty strollers and other critical accessibility equipment. After being loaded by 133rd Air Transportation Specialists, the C-17 departed for Charleston, South Carolina, where the cargo will be transferred to another aircraft for final departure to Honduras.
Master Sgt. Neil Bacon, superintendent of the 133rd’s ATF, shares his perspective of the value gained through this unique opportunity. “This type of mission reflects the versatility the Air National Guard provides— just last week we had people supporting the civil unrest and then today we are turning around and providing humanitarian aid to people all around the world.”
“This is only one type of mission we do as part of the Denton program,” said Bacon. “For previous missions, we’ve had food shipments that went to Afghanistan and supplied meals to over 6,000 people in the Kabul area.”
Technical Sgt. Heather Boutin, an Air Transportation Specialist, describes the relevance of the Denton Mission related to training, sharing how it incorporates multiple pieces of their jobs.
“It’s something we don’t normally do, so this is a pretty exciting opportunity for our Airmen.”
Once the supplies arrive in country, Helping Hands for Honduras will partner with the Centro Rehabilitacion Gabriela Alvarado, Nuevo Pariso, to provide rehabilitation services and this equipment to people with disabilities in the local community.