Sudanese Airlift

by Daniel L. Haulman

Operation Name: Sudanese Airlift
Location: Sudan
Date: June and August 1988
Emergency: Civil strife in southern Sudan drove hundreds of thousands of people to refugee camps.
Organizations: 60th and 436th Military Airlift Wings
Airlifted: More than 70 tons of plastic sheeting.
Aircraft Used: C–141 (two) and C–5 (one)

Continuing civil war between rebels and government troops in southern Sudan drove hundreds of thousands of people to refugee camps in search of food. Unable to shelter all of the refugees, Sudanese officials requested U.S. aid.

On June 2, two C–141s from the 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis AFB, California, took off on a humanitarian airlift mission to Sudan. They stopped at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, where they loaded 10 pallets of plastic sheeting for shelters. From there, they flew via the United Kingdom, Italy, and Egypt to Khartoum, capital of Sudan, to unload the cargo. Ground vehicles transported the plastic sheeting to the refugee camps.

In August, seasonal flooding worsened refugee conditions in Sudan, prompting another U.S. airlift of plastic sheeting. This time a 436th Military Airlift Wing C–5 carried 858 rolls of the shelter material, weighing 70 tons, from Dover AFB in Delaware to Khartoum. The Galaxy stopped at bases in Spain and Italy for refueling and crew rest. The flight took two days, August 10 and 11.

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