• Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Airman 1st Class Jeff Mason reviews the load on a C-130 bound for Banda Aceh from Jakarta. The pallets included rice, powdered milk and empty water jugs for distribution in the tsunami affected region.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    A flight crew from Elmendorf’s 517th Airlift Squadron gets a look at the landscape at the northern tip of Sumatra island while approaching the town of Sabang to deliever relief supplies. From left, co-pilot Cpt. Adam Ressler, navigator Mjr. Chad Christopherson and engineer Staff Sgt. David Guy.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    The view from the Elmendor C-130s as they approach Banda Aceh reveals much of the town was swallowed by the December 26 tsunami. Flight crews say the large scope of the relief effort there makes for a chaotic landing at the airstrip.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Members of the Australian army burn waste at their camp at the Banda Aceh airport. As the point of entry for the areas massive relief effort, the airport has become dirty and busy.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Indonesian tsunami victims hoping for transport from Banda Aceh shield themselves from the dust stirred from C-130 traffic. The tsunami relief effort has made the airstrip congested and chaotic, Elmendorf flight crews say.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Displaced Indonesians are transported from Banda Aceh, the hardest hit of the tsunami stricken region. Twenty-five people were flown by Elmendorf’s 517the Airlift Squadron.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    A tsunami victim looks out the window of the Elmendorf C-130 as travels over the island of Sumatara away from Banda Aceh. Twenty-five displaced people were transported by the 517th Airlift Squadron that day.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Rizal, one of the 25 tsunami victims airlifted Tuesday by the 517the Airlfit Squadron, looks at a photo of his ten year old son, who died.. Rizal says he also lost his wife. “Now I am alone,” he said. He said he’ll stay with his brother in Jakarta.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    An Elmendorf flight crew heads from Jakarta toward Banda Aceh in a C-130 carrying medical supplies to the tsunami devistated region. From left are engineer Staff Sgt. Tim Singer, pilot Cpt. James Hanford and co-pilot Frank Oktavec.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    The view from the Elmendor C-130s as they approach Banda Aceh reveals much of the town was swallowed by the December 26 tsunami. Flight crews say the large scope of the relief effort there makes for a chaotic landing at the airstrip.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    An US Navy seaman gets a breath while unloading trucks of food items at the Banda Aceh airport. At the bustling airport scene, the cargo is transferred from C-130s, such as those participating from Elmendorf Air Force Base, to helicopters for delivery to remote locations on the island of Sumatara, Indonesia. “It’s humbling to be part of such an amazing team,” said Mjr. Chris Hays, an Elmendorf pilot.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Muddy boots are removed outside a prayer building at the Banda Aceh airport.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Residents of Sabang, a town on an island north of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, gather for a look at an Elmendorf C-130 that flew in to deliver tsunami relief supplies. The airstrip in Sabang has recently become an additional point of entry for aid to the tsunami affected region, relieving congestion at Banda Aceh.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    A pallet is off-loaded from an Air Force C-130 at the town of Sabang. The Elmendorf-based airlift squadron delivered food and other supplies to the town for distribution in the tsunami affected region of Indonesia. The flight team was able to push the pallets onto a forklift and get back in the air in minutes.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    An Elmendorf C-130 pauses for a stray dog on the taxiway at an airport in central Sumatra. The cargo plane had attempted the 3-1/2 hour flight to Banda Aceh, but landed at this point to inspect an engine that it had shut down mid-flight as a precautionary measure. It eventually returned to the base of operations in Jakarta without making it to Banda Aceh.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Indonesian tsunami victims await transport from Banda Aceh at the airport.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    At bottom right, an airman rests in an operations tent in the middle of the night as the constant arrival and departure of cargo planes continues.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    A group of Indonesian men who had been volunteering to provide services to tsunami victims and camps in Banda Aceh await airlift to Jakarta aboard an Elmendorf C-130. The Elmendorf operation has airlifted 480 people from Banda Aceh.

  • Marc Lester, photojournalist, Anchorage, Alaska

    Master Sgt. Dennis Albaugh gets some rest during a bus ride back to the hotel after a long day working in temperatures above 90 degrees in Jakarta, Indonesia. Albaugh is part of the ground support crew for the Elmendorf airlift squadron.