VIENNA, Ohio (WYTV) – One of the biggest military planes in the world landed in the Valley on Friday morning, loading 90,000 pounds of cargo for a humanitarian trip to Central America.
C-5 Galaxy, the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory, arrived at Youngstown Air Reserve Station just after 11 a.m. Friday.
“The C-5 can carry up to six greyhound buses on it,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Massie, 76th Aerial Port Squadron superintendent. “It’s the airplane that you can kneel down to the ground, walk through one side and out the other.”
The plane came to the air station in Vienna on a mutually-beneficial mission. Youngstown airmen were able to take on a training opportunity loading and unloading a large plane. And the cargo they put on board will benefit a children’s hospice, pediatric unit and cancer clinic in Guatemala.
Austintown-based Mission of Love collected hospital beds, examination tables, furniture and other medical supplies to ship to the hospice they have been building. The Air Force flies the cargo free of charge as part of the military’s Denton Program, which allows organizations to use U.S. military cargo planes to transport humanitarian goods.
“It’s going to change somebody’s life down there,” said Mission of Love’s Bob Price. “They are very, very grateful to have our throwaways.”
Price emphasized that the goods being sent to Guatemala are not brand-new, but used goods that would have been thrown away.
“These are scraps that other people didn’t want,” said Price. “They said, ‘We’re giving this stuff away. Either that or we’re going to junk it. Do you want it?'”
Mission of Love has partnered with Youngstown’s 910th Airlift Wing for more than 20 years on humanitarian missions, and the Air Force says it is an invaluable experience for the airmen.
“If we were to have to deploy, this is what we are meant to do,” Massie said. “This is what our career field does: builds cargo, moves passengers.”
The medical supplies are scheduled to arrive in Guatemala City on Saturday.