Eagle Port Airmen support Operation ALLIES WELCOME

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Charles Casner
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“Providing humanitarian assistance is one of the most rewarding jobs I have had in the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Dominique Jamieson, Air Freight Flight commander with the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron.

In August 2021, President Joe Biden directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to lead ongoing efforts across the federal government to support vulnerable Afghan citizens, including those who worked alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan for the past two decades, as they safely resettle in the United States.

“It was an honor to support the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in history, welcoming thousands of Afghan citizens who left everything behind in pursuit of safety in the United States,” said Jamieson, who was a prior-enlisted for more than 12 years.

Thirteen Airmen from the 62nd APS supported the 439th Contingency Response Element, which was tasked with the passenger reception at Philadelphia International Airport, receiving Afghan citizens as part of Operation ALLIES WELCOME.

Jamieson was told abruptly that he would be leading Team McChord on this operation. He had experience serving as an installation deployment officer moving military personnel and cargo. However, he had never supported a large reception operation with civilian refugees.

The lieutenant’s primary job was to make sure his team had resources and equipment to complete the mission. He was tasked to manage the reception of the refugees and coordinate the on-ward movement to safe havens across the country.

“Lieutenant Jamieson arrived to us with a stellar history of leadership and performance, after PCS’ing from McConnell [Air Force Base, Kansas]. It didn’t hurt that he and his family were confidently prepared to volunteer and take on this challenge during his first week on the job in Eagle Port,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Wesley Ekwall, 62nd APS commander. “He recognized the unprecedented scale of need and didn’t balk at the opportunity to selflessly contribute – he jumped at the chance, selflessly courageous.”

From active-duty Airmen to all the members of the 439th CRE, everyone had an important job to provide comfort and stability during a difficult situation.

“My team witnessed firsthand the grueling effects of traveling across the world for several days on the Afghan citizens,” Jamieson said. “The team was empathetic to their situation and we tried our best to ease the process of entering into the United States.”

In total, Jamison’s team supported 89 aircraft missions, transporting 89 tons of cargo and processing 16,991 passengers.

“Being able to provide a positive impression of our country and easing the resettlement process for our Afghan guests was our goal,” Jamieson said.

Jamieson was not only proud of what his Airmen accomplished, but of their desire to help during the times of uncertainty in Afghanistan.

“The team of Eagle Port Airmen were thrown into unknown situations and they performed outstandingly. They took their mission seriously, executed whatever tasks were asked of them outside of their normal duties and most importantly, treated the refugees with kindness and empathy,” said Jamieson. “I am truly honored to be a part of the team and have a chance to serve with these Airmen.”