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The more than 62,000-square-foot response center includes a 55,000-square-foot hangar, office space, and the capacity to facilitate a wide range of aircraft maintenance activities. (Photo credit: Samaritan's Purse)

Franklin Graham Dedicates New Samaritan's Purse Airlift Response Center

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Samaritan's Purse, the international humanitarian response ministry headquartered in Boone, North Carolina, now has a new airlift response center in Greensboro.  

On Tuesday, Samaritan's Purse President and CEO Franklin Graham dedicated the new facility. Measuring more than 62,000 square feet, the response center includes a 55,000-square-foot hangar, office space, and the capacity to facilitate a wide range of aircraft maintenance activities. It is staffed by 21 people, including pilots, flight engineers, loadmasters, maintenance personnel, and additional flight support staff.

"We want to be able to respond immediately. The quicker we can get there the better because we can save lives with resources like our Emergency Field Hospitals," Graham said at the dedication ceremony. "Everything we have comes from God, and so we give God the glory. We want to thank Him for giving us this facility, so we are here today to dedicate it to Almighty God for the glory of His Son Jesus Christ."

Franklin Graham, pilot, and president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse, gives God the glory for the work done by the aviation arm of the ministry. (Photo credit: Samaritan's Purse)

slider img 2Former Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined Graham at the dedication to offer words of gratitude and encouragement for the work of Samaritan's Purse. Gabbard became familiar with the work of Samaritan's Purse following the organization's May 2018 flood response in the Aloha State, when they airlifted 10 tons of emergency relief supplies to Kauai following catastrophic flooding. 

"I'm so grateful to have the privilege of being able to be here and to celebrate the great work and blessings Samaritan's Purse brings around the world," Gabbard said. "I can't thank Samaritan's Purse enough not only for the materials they brought on the plane to Hawaii but also for the hope they brought with them."

New Facility Designed to Hold Organization's Largest Aircraft

The facility was built to support the organization's two largest cargo aircraft—a Douglas DC-8 and a newly acquired Boeing 757. The cargo hold in the 757 freighter plane is equivalent to the space of three tractor-trailers, and it can carry a maximum load of 67,000 pounds of cargo—increasing the organization's ability to respond to disasters at a moment's notice. 

The 757 completed its first relief mission on Sept. 1, airlifting 24 tons of cargo to Maui, Hawaii, where volunteers are helping wildfire victims begin to recover. 

During the past seven years, Samaritan's Purse has flown nearly 8 million pounds of cargo out of Greensboro on 185 flights to 55 countries, including Turkey, Iraq, Haiti, and Sudan. The organization's DC-8 has made 41 roundtrip flights for Ukraine, carrying an Emergency Field Hospital and 1.5 million pounds of desperately needed relief supplies. 

The aviation arm of Samaritan's Purse operates 24 aircraft, including two helicopters, which are based in strategic locations. Since 1975, Samaritan's Purse has used aircraft to transport doctors and relief workers along with tons of food, medicine, shelter materials, blankets, and other items to aid victims of natural disasters, war, famine, and other emergencies.

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