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Saturday, December 25, 2010

AAF, NATC-A troops deliver aid to Bamiyan

 AAF, NATC-A troops deliver aid to Bamiyan Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jared Walker
Afghan Air Force and NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan troops deliver over 3,600 pounds of supplies as part of a humanitarian assistance mission in Bamiyan province.

BAMIYAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Afghan Air Force airmen and NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Advisors delivered more than 3,600 pounds of humanitarian aid to Bamiyan province Dec. 23.

Against the backdrop of ancient Buddhist statues found in Bamiyan, AAF and NATC-A troops distributed blankets, jackets, school supplies and soccer balls to the Bayiman Department of Women’s Affairs, though goods were also set aside for a local orphanage and for those villagers who were on hand at the event, said Mahtab Farid, a public diplomacy officer for the State Department.

“There were a lot of women in desperate need that come up to me and asked for help, and this is a good project in helping those needy women,” said Fatimah Kazimey, the director of the department of women’s affairs, commenting on what brought the humanitarian assistance mission to the province.

“It’s such a tremendous feeling, a happy feeling, to be able to help people in need. Especially today, seeing some of the people who showed up to receive the help in person,” she said.

Kazimey said that she believes that the continued support of the AAF and coalition forces shown by humanitarian missions is a must for the betterment of the country and its people.

The experience was not only beneficial for those receiving the aid, but also for the people distributing it; especially for the Afghan Air Force members who made to the trip from the AAF Base in Kabul to be able to deliver the supplies.

“I am very happy to come here and be able to help our people,” Naik Mohammad Yosufi, an Afghan Air Force C-27 pilot who helped fly the aircraft that brought the supplies.

Humanitarian missions help bring the government and people together. By doing missions such as these, Afghans begin to believe that their government is there to help them, and, likewise, become more enthusiastic about helping the government, said Yosufi.

Though only a first step in displaying that support, the mission was still a success for those involved.

“Today's mission was brief but very rewarding. It's a good feeling to deliver things people really need, alongside our fellow Afghan Airmen,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Douglas Lantry, the historian for the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“It's gratifying to be involved in this kind of direct impact on people's everyday lives with a genuine expression of good will. It was a highlight of my deployment,” he said.

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