MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
When Moody’s 71st Rescue Squadron is called upon, they answer – and they deliver.
The U.S. Air Force recently received a donation of approximately 10,000 gallons of medical-grade hand sanitizer from Exxon Mobil Corp., intended to assist military installations in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The capabilities of the 71st RQS’ HC-130J Combat King IIs and their crews made them fit for the task of securing 4,100 gallons of the sanitizer and delivering it to multiple bases.
“We were the best choice for the mission because we’re centrally located between three of the bases that received roughly half of the donation,” said Maj. Will Dyke, 71st RQS assistant director of operations, “Moody was able to provide its own logistical and operational support to move the hand sanitizer. Therefore, we were able to do it all using our own local assets.”
Since Moody rescue teams simultaneously supported the human spaceflight at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and a deployment rotation in Southeast Asia, Dyke added that their mission to move more than 30,000 pounds of hand sanitizer couldn’t be done alone.
Planning, picking up and dispersing the product required the help of more Moody Airmen, specifically from the 347th Operations Support Squadron aerial delivery service branch and the 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“We flew to Louisiana to pick up thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer to be used to fight the current situation with COVID-19,” said Staff Sgt. Ismael Hayes, 347th OSS NCO in charge of ADSB, “It’s a big task and [we’re] helping to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s perfect that we were able to pick this mission up as the 347th OSS. We’re not normally [tasked for] this function, but it’s a great opportunity.”
The team’s first mission was to fly to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana, where the hand sanitizer was staged, built and loaded onto several pallets. The team then delivered 2,500 gallons to Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
“We built and inspected nine pallets with five of those pallets going to Robins AFB,” Hayes said, “My role was to be the joint inspector. I inspected the cargo to make sure it was air worthy and everything was secured so when [it was] loaded on the aircraft, it [made] it to its destination safely.”
Hayes explained this task isn’t typical for the teams, but they were able to adapt and deliver to meet the mission.
The crews delivered the rest of the load to Moody AFB and Patrick AFB the following week. As for the other 4,900 gallons of sanitizer, a C-17 Globemaster III from an undetermined location will distribute the remaining product to select bases across the nation.
Military installations involved in this donation include, but are not limited to:
Robins AFB – 2,500 gallons
Moody AFB – 400 gallons
Patrick AFB – 1,200 gallons
Sheppard AFB, TX – 1,000 gallons
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ – 1,200 gallons
Joint Base Andrews, MD – 3,700 gallons