Friday, April 15, 2011

These Ďair strikesí are humane

While the debate heats up over the effectiveness and limits of U.S. military air power in Libya, other U.S. air power, as it were, is being added for humanitarian flights elsewhere in the world.

Two new multimillion-dollar turbo-prop Kodiak aircraft will be delivered soon to Nampa-based Mission Aviation Fellowship and join a fleet of other planes that deliver supplies, carry passengers and perform other tasks for hundreds of missionary groups throughout the world.

Consider this impact: Last year, Mission Aviation Fellowship planes flew 33,365 missions, delivered 9.18 million pounds of aid and carried 94,961 passengers.

If the organization's aircraft are symbols of charity and humanitarianism, sources of the money for the pair of new Kodiaks are likewise. An anonymous donor gave MAF $1.7 million, stipulating it must be matched by another $1.7 million donation. Presto! Another anonymous donor came through.

Manufactured by Quest Aviation in Sandpoint, Idaho, Kodiaks are rugged, 10-passenger bush-country airplanes that can operate out of any level field.

Although names of the donors that enabled purchase of the aircraft are unknown, they are among millions of Americans who generously provide resources for worldwide charities, religious and otherwise, that aid people in remote villages that have no political quarrels, only a need for life-sustaining help.

The smallest of kindnesses, medical care, and equipment and materials to create schools bring the American image of charity and friendship year-round to places known intimately only by genuine humanitarians, places far removed from the efforts of Washington diplomats.

If only all "air strikes" could be like these.

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