AAFB serves as diplomatic hub to Indo-Pacific

Service members assigned to Andersen Air Force Base and Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz have partnered with the Department of State to bring COVID-19 relief to the Indo-Pacific over the last two months.

The 734th Air Mobility Squadron, 36th Medical Group, along with the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron coordinated with six DoS members to receive and load cargo in support of COVID-19 relief measures in the Indo-Pacific.

“I take great pride in the 734th’s involvement with these missions,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Swigart, 734th AMS air terminal operating center senior controller. “It’s great that the Airmen get to be a part of something that’s helping those in need in the Indo-Pacific.”

Cargo was loaded onto a military-contracted Gulfstream III and distributed to U.S. Embassies in the nations of Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Fiji.

The 36th LRS coordinated requirements set by Guam Department of Health and Social Services to DoS members to ensure compliance with local COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, and located storage for the cargo in a hangar operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, said 1st Lt. Jannell Viera-Hernandez, 36th LRS installation reception officer and reception working group lead.

“Our intent is to support every incoming unit for real-world missions or exercises,” Viera-Hernandez said. “We help units navigate the unique requirements and considerations here on AAFB.”

Andersen AFB is an ideal location for this mission due to its central location in the Indo-Pacific and proximity to Eastern and South Eastern Asia.

“For this specific mission our impact is wide reaching in the fight against COVID(-19),” Viera-Hernandez said. “We have enabled the DoS mission to posture AAFB as a diplomatic hub to the East Pacific, ultimately increasing the quality of life of the population in the region.”

Regardless if it’s supporting fighter jets for a Dynamic Force Employment, bombers for a Bomber Task Force deployment rotations, or humanitarian missions, Andersen AFB’s service members are capable of supporting a vast array of operations. Andersen AFB continues to support global operations, host multinational exercises and cultivate regional partnerships despite COVID-19.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve and be able to lend a hand in this historic event,” Swigart said.

A Gulfstream IV prepares to depart AAFB

A Gulfstream IV chartered by the Department of State prepares to depart Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 14, 2021. Andersen AFB service members partnered with the DoS by storing and loading cargo used to provide COVID-19 relief to U.S. Embassies in the nations of Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fuji and across the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Murphy)

Crates and Pouches

A Guam Flight Services handler loads Department of State diplomatic crates and pouches on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 23, 2021. The diplomatic crates and pouches were distributed to the Indo-Pacific in support of COVID-19 relief measures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Murphy)

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