Andersen used as ‘Diplomatic Hub’ for regional pandemic relief

COVID-19 RELIEF: A Gulfstream IV chartered by the Department of State prepares to depart Andersen Air Force Base on April 14. Andersen service members partnered with the department by storing and loading cargo used to provide COVID-19 relief to U.S. embassies in Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fuji, and across the Indo-Pacific. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Murphy

Guam has played a part in bringing COVID-19 relief throughout the Indo-Pacific region recently.

A media release from the 36th Wing states that for the past two months, service members assigned to Andersen Air Force Base and Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz have partnered with the Department of State to receive and load needed cargo for U.S. embassies. The local Air Force base was used for the mission because of its ideal location in the Indo-Pacific region, and its proximity to east and Southeast Asia.

The supplies were distributed to Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Fiji via a military-contracted Gulfstream jet, according to the release, which did not disclose what specific aid was included in the shipments.

The military coordinated with the local Department of Public Health and Social Services to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidance and restrictions.

“For this specific mission our impact is wide reaching in the fight against COVID,” said 1st Lt. Jannell Viera-Hernandez. “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.”

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