Ground support volunteers Mike and Shari Sanford and Shane Trullinger help pilot Matt Frehner load donated food into his plane during a Clallam County Disaster Airlift Response Team exercise Sept. 21.

Ground support volunteers Mike and Shari Sanford and Shane Trullinger help pilot Matt Frehner load donated food into his plane during a Clallam County Disaster Airlift Response Team exercise Sept. 21.

Food donations double as DART training drill

The Clallam County Disaster Airlift Response Team took part in a regional training exercise on Saturday, Sept. 21,

Members of the team used eight aircraft to fly 13 missions during the exercise, 12 ground support volunteers assisted with operations at William R. Fairchild International Airport.

Pilots flew three county-wide damage assessment flights that covered the area between Discovery Bay to the West End.

Two other missions picked up donated food in Bellingham which was flown into the Jefferson County Airport.

The other eight missions transported food donations from Port Angeles to Jefferson County Airport.

The team flew 362 pounds of nonperishable food donated by Fred Meyer’s in Bellingham and 1,463 pounds of nonperishable food donated by Saar’s Super Saver Foods in Port Angeles.

The food donations were used to simulate payloads that might be needed during a disaster such as medical supplies, rescue personnel, food or water.

The donated food was delivered to Jefferson County food banks.

The all-volunteer Disaster Airlift Response Teams plan and practice to provide emergency airlift after major natural disasters that may prevent ground transportation into and out of the North Olympic Peninsula.

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