AAFB serves as Diplomatic Hub to Indo-Pacific

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael S. Murphy
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

Service members assigned to Andersen Air Force Base and Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, Guam have partnered with the Department of State to bring COVID-19 relief to the Indo-Pacific over the last two months.

The 734th Air Mobility Squadron, 36th Medical Group, along with the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron coordinated with six DoS members to receive and load cargo in support of COVID-19 relief measures in the Indo-Pacific.

“I take great pride in the 734th’s involvement with these missions,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Swigart, 734th AMS air terminal operating center senior controller. “It’s great that the Airmen get to be a part of something that’s helping those in need in the Indo-Pacific.”

Cargo was loaded onto a military-contracted Gulfstream III and distributed to U.S. Embassies in the nations of Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Fiji.

The 36th LRS coordinated requirements set by Guam Department of Health and Social Services to DoS members to ensure compliance with local COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, and located storage for thecargo in a hangar operated by the United States Marine Corps, said 1st Lt. Jannell Viera-Hernandez, 36th LRS installation reception officer and reception working group lead.

“Our intent is to support every incoming unit for real world missions or exercises,” Viera-Hernandez said. “We help units navigate the unique requirements and considerations here on AAFB.”

Andersen is an ideal location due to its central location in the Indo-Pacific and proximity to Eastern and South Eastern Asia.

“For this specific mission our impact is wide reaching in the fight against COVID,” Viera-Hernandez said. “We have enabled the DoS mission to posture AAFB as a diplomatic hub to the East Pacific, ultimately increasing the quality of life of the population in the region.”

Regardless if it’s supporting fighter jets for a Dynamic Force Employment, bombers for a Bomber Task Force deployment rotations, or humanitarian missions, Andersen’s service members are capable to support a vast array of operations.  AAFB continues to support global operations, host multi-national exercises and cultivate regional partnerships despite COVID-19.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve and be able to lend a hand in this historic event,” Swigart said.