Philippines Medical Airlift

by Daniel L. Haulman

Operation Name: Philippines Medical Airlift
Location: Republic of the Philippines
Date: January 25–28, 1988
Emergency: The Philippine government requested medical supplies.
Organizations: 60th Military Airlift Wing
Airlifted: 102 tons of medical supplies.
Aircraft Used: C–5 (2)

In early 1988, the government of the Philippines requested U.S. medical supplies through diplomatic channels. The United States had provided similar aid less than two years earlier (see Philippine Airlift, September 1986). The Americares Foundation, a private relief organization dedicated to filling emergency medical needs worldwide, offered antibiotics, bandages, nutritional supplements, needles, syringes, vaccines, crutches, wheelchairs, and other medical supplies donated by pharmaceutical companies and hospital suppliers in the United States. Under the McCollum Act, which allowed shipment of excess, nonlethal DoD supplies, the State Department asked DoD to airlift the cargo to the Philippines.

The Twenty-second Air Force’s 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis AFB in California used a pair of C–5 Galaxies for the operation. Between January 25 and 28, the aircraft delivered 102 tons of medical supplies to Manila, stopping on the way at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, and Andersen AFB, Guam. Personnel from the 374th Tac Airlift Wing at Clark AB helped to unload the C–5s.

Raul Manglapus, the Philippine foreign affairs secretary, thanked the United States for its assistance in a ceremony in Manila attended by the U.S. ambassador, Nicholas Platt. The airlift helped to satisfy medical needs and demonstrated the commitment of the United States to the welfare of the Philippines.

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