Airmen trained at Altus AFB head to Nepal - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Airmen trained at Altus AFB head to Nepal

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla._United States airmen formally trained at Altus Air Force Base continue the military's support of disaster relief efforts in Nepal with the arrival of a second C-17 aircraft.

The first one delivered 70 personnel, rescue dogs and 45 square tons of cargo. The help comes amidst a growing death toll that has climbed to well over 5,000. All airmen trained to fly the C-17 receive their training at Altus Air Force Base.

When global disaster strikes, airmen have the ability to respond rapidly. Altus Air Force Base is the primary headquarters for C-17 aircraft training, meaning that any airmen who fly one of these air crafts must be trained at the base. And in many cases, they are called on to put their expertise to use.

Captain Brad Lane says when it comes to a long and heavy haul, there's no better way to go than with roomy and versatile C-17. The aircraft can carry up to 200,000 pounds and go just about anywhere.

"It's able to go into any airfield, both the paved and unpaved surfaces, so it can get into almost any country, any airfield, anywhere in the world. And it can get there through air refueling, so it can get there in a nonstop flight as well. So, the global reach of the C-17 is very impressive," explained Lane.

And he would know, Lane flew to Haiti for recovery efforts after the earthquake in 2010. He says these types of helpful missions are so satisfying they don't even feel like work.

"It's a huge privilege and a lot of satisfaction to go help out fellow countries, fellow allies and friends of the United States and all of us," said Lane.

Staff Sergeant Jeff Purvis trains airmen for both standard and humanitarian missions, and says there's no difference between the two training. The difference lies in the actual experience.

"The biggest difference is the environment, where you're going. If you're going to wartime, then that's one thing, but most times for humanitarian aid you're taking people in to help out or bringing people that are in need out of the country," said Purvis.

As an instructor, Purvis no longer goes out on missions, but he says seeing airmen he's taught helping out on these missions is just as satisfying.

"The ability to touch folks that do, it's really awesome to know that somebody I instructed is out there fighting the mission, doing the mission at the time," said Purvis.

And the Altus Air Force Base doesn't just train U.S. airmen. The instructors said they also train students from 13 countries, but no matter where they are or what they're doing, their mission is always safe and efficient flights.

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