Airmen assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron delivered equipment and supplies to Managua, Nicaragua, July 26 during a Denton Program mission.
The Denton Program is an unfunded government program that allows non-government organizations to donate humanitarian aid for movement by the U.S. Air Force on training missions.
“We delivered a range of items to help the people of Nicaragua develop their communities,” said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Padgett, 22nd AS C-5M Super Galaxy loadmaster. “The equipment we delivered included firefighting equipment, a fire truck, ambulances, furniture, sewing material, agricultural supplies and education material.”
The program provides organizations with a cost-effective way to transport goods and help people, Padgett said.
During the mission, the crew landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Niagara Falls, New York, where they picked up equipment for Nicaragua. The mission would not have been successful without the help of U.S. Air Force Reserve aerial porters at these locations.
“During this mission, the 30th Aerial Port Squadron and the 27th Aerial Port Squadron played a crucial role because without them, we would have lacked the manpower to load all of this equipment or the plan to fit it all,” Padgett said. “None of these missions happen without the aerial porters. They were so motivated and proud to be part of this mission and the service they provided was beyond exceptional.”
Participating in the humanitarian mission had quite an impact on him as well, Padgett said.
“Delivering this equipment was a great opportunity for us to help the people of Nicaragua develop their country,” he said. “By providing them with these resources, they are more likely to thrive, their economy will receive a boost which has the potential to lead to better health care, education and an overall higher standard of living.”
Amy Wiza, an executive director with Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partners of Americas, Inc., coordinated the distribution of the equipment and supplies after their arrival in Nicaragua.
“The beneficiaries of this shipment are the people of Nicaragua,” she said. “The equipment will be used to support over 1.5 million residents in various communities.”
Some of the materials Travis Air Force Base delivered could help save lives, Wiza added.
“Because we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the fabrics we received will be prioritized for making masks and personal protective items to prevent the spread of the virus,” she said.
The Denton Program allows the Air Force to enhance training, build relationships with civilian organizations and cultivate goodwill among nations, Padgett said.
“Everyone wins,” he added.