File photo of a line of C-130 Hercules aircraft preparing to depart Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on March 5, 2008. U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft like this one supported the effort by flying the first rotation of U.S. military-supported flights from Tunisia to Egypt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Melissa Sheffield)
STUTTGART, Germany (March 6, 2011) — As part of the United States effort to respond to the evolving humanitarian emergency on the Libya-Tunisia border, the U.S. military has taken action to assist with the return of Egyptian citizens who wish to leave Tunisia and return to their home country.
Two U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft and two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft supported the effort by flying the first rotation of U.S. military-supported flights from Tunisia to Egypt. Combined, the four aircraft are transporting 312 Egyptian nationals.
Just after 11 p.m. CET, March 5, 2011, the 132 Egyptians who were traveling on the two U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft arrived safely in Cairo, Egypt. The two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft are still enroute.
This is a continuation of the effort begun yesterday when two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft delivered to Djerba, Tunisia, humanitarian aid supplies from the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) storage warehouse at Leghorn Army Depot in Pisa, Italy. The OFDA donations included 2,000 blankets, 40 rolls of plastic sheeting, and 9,600 10-liter plastic water containers.
The U.S. military is playing a supporting role in the much larger U.S. government emergency response. These U.S. military aircraft fill a critical niche in being able to provide short-haul passenger transport.
These efforts are being overseen by U.S. Africa Command and began less than twenty-four hours after President Barack Obama announced his approval to use U.S. military aircraft to help transport Egyptians who have fled to the Tunisian border.