Governor Paterson Directs New York Air National Guard to Assist in Haitian Relief Efforts

ALBANY, NY (01/16/2010)(readMedia)– Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he is directing the New York Air National Guard to assist in Haitian relief efforts, by providing two C-130 cargo aircraft and crew to national relief efforts.

The two aircraft left Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station at 7 a.m. for Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina where they will load humanitarian cargo and then proceed to Port Au Prince. The crews will then fly to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, where they will continue their relief mission, flying in and out of Haiti with supplies. The mission is expected to last five days.

“I’m extremely proud that the men and women of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station have been tapped to provide aid and comfort to the people of Haiti in their hour of need. My heart, and the hearts of all New Yorkers go out to the Haitian people in this moment of crisis,” Governor Paterson said. “I know that these New Yorkers in uniform will perform exemplary service during their mission.”
The planes – call sign Fuzzy 90 and Bison 91 – are jointly operated by the Air Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 914th Airlift Wing.

Major General Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General and Commander of the New York National Guard, said: “The men and women of the New York National Guard have been leaning forward to prepare to participate in this mission. We know that this will be a long process, and we stand ready to provide support when called upon.”

Colonel Patrick Ginavan, Commander of the 107th Airlift Wing, said: “We are very excited to be part of this relief effort. Both units have been tasked to support this mission and it is a combined effort between the New York Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. This is a perfect example of a successful Air Reserve Component partnership.”

Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise O’Donnell, said: “Governor Patterson is very grateful to the generous New Yorkers who have contacted him offering to provide donations of food water and medical supplies to Haiti. We are keeping a log of these offers and sharing the information with the Federal Government. At this time the National Guard. Mission is to transport heavy equipment and supplies used to make the repairs and build the infrastructure necessary to receive badly needed humanitarian need. We continue to urge New Yorkers to make monetary donations to relief groups listed in the Governor’s website.”

Governor Paterson has pledged all available State resources in this international relief effort. He said New York State agencies continue to work with federal and City officials identifying resources that may be requested by the Federal government in this massive effort.

The Governor also reminded those looking to locate New York citizens thought to be in Haiti at the time of the quake to sign up on the New York State Registry for New York Citizens in Haiti.

Launched on Friday, you can access the online registry by going to the Governor’s website, http://www.ny.gov/governor/and click on the New York State Registry of New York Citizens in Haiti. You will be asked to provide the name of the individuals you have not had contact with and provide some essential contact information. The information collected will not be used or shared for any purpose unrelated to locating and identifying family and friends in Haiti.

For those who do not have access to the web, the Governor has established a toll-free hotline – 1-888-769-7243. The hotline is operational from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

The New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing, based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, operates 12 C-130H cargo aircraft in conjunction with the 914th Airlift Wing of the United States Air Force Reserve. This mission involves Airmen from both the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

Prior to 2008 the 107th operated KC-135 air refueling aircraft from the base.

The C-130 Hercules is the United States Air Force’s standard intra-theater cargo aircraft and is used heavily by air forces around the world. It is capable of getting into and out of short and unimproved runways. The aircraft is one of the largest transport planes in the world, and can carry up to 92 people or six pallets of cargo depending on the configuration and load and unload through a ramp at the rear of the aircraft.

The C-130, powered by four turboprop engines is normally operated by a crew of five or six, a pilot and co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, and one or two loadmasters in the back. The version flown by the 107th Airlift Wing has a top speed of 366 miles per hour and a range of about 2,000 miles with a payload of around 35,000 pounds.