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Osprey Delivers for Honduran villagers

by 2nd Lt. Mark Lazane 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Osprey

Boeing Photo

Accessing remote villages in the mountainous areas of Honduras poses problems for many nongovernmental agencies when they try to deliver life-saving supplies to villages along trails not accessible by conventional vehicles.  Except, of course, when the CV-22 Osprey, and its unique capabilities, just so happen to be in the area already.

Osprey

U.S. Air Force Photo

The 8th Special Operations Squadron, along with their unique airframe stationed at Hurlburt Field, recently traveled to Honduras in support of ongoing operational missions.
While there, they contributed air power to a large humanitarian aid campaign taking place throughout the nation’s rugged countryside.

Taking advantage of the Osprey’s unique payload and lift-off/landing capabilities, three Ospreys each made three different deliveries of critical items, including non-perishable food items, hospital beds, and textbooks into remote villages in and around Puerto Limpera, a small village in the northeastern state of Gracias A Dios, said Lt. Col. Darryl Sheets, the mission commander.

“This was a 13-hour crew day, landing on a dirt strip, resulting in a “brown out” landing each time,” said Colonel Sheets. “This was cargo that the American embassy in Honduras and United States Agency for International Development had been trying to get to the village for some time so all parties were very pleased with the outcome.” 

In total, approximately 43,000 pounds of goods were delivered.  The effort was coordinated through joint US-Honduran diplomatic channels, and was executed with help from members of the Honduran military.

At both the villages and the aerial port, Hondurans assisted in loading and unloading the CV-22s, delivering more than 20 tons of supplies to local residents.

“The power, range, and speed of the CV-22 Osprey offer unique capabilities to a broad spectrum of humanitarian relief efforts,” said Colonel Sheets. “Precious food, shelter, and medicine can be delivered to the most remote regions a given country with the speed of an aircraft and the austere landing capability of a helicopter.” (June 2009)