British Forklifts Rush to the Aid of Iraqi Refugees

All Operators Must be 18 or Older

Forklifts and other materials handling material are used in both the US and UK to gather humanitarian relief for Yazidi refugees trapped on an Iraqi mountain by the jihadist group ISIL.

Three Jungheinrich forklifts are among the equipment being used at an relief warehouse in the UK to prepare humanitarian aid shipments for Yazidi refugees stranded in the mountains of Iraq.

Both the UK and the US are spearheading efforts to provide much-needed food, water and other relief supplies to the refugees, as well as coordinating bombing attacks against the Islamic State extremists.

Materials Handling Equipment to the Rescue

The Department for International Development’s warehouse at Coswold Airport — a private general aviation airport near the village of Kemble in Gloucestgershire, England — is serving as the UK’s Aid Disaster Response Centre. The airfield was once of RAF Kemble and served as a base for both the Royal Air Force and the US Air Force.

Besides the three forklifts, two new Diesel Stratus counterbalanced truck, an ETV114 reach truck, and a storage racking system are being used at the facility, which is a staging area for the distribution of millions of dollars of UK aid that will be airdropped to the refugees.

Tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority have been trapped on Mount Sinjar without adequate food or water by members of the jihadist Islamic State militants, also known as ISIL or ISIS.

The British government and its allies, including the US, have been providing aid to the Yazidis as a rescue plan is developed. Recently, the US and Britain began bombing key ISIL holdings near the Iraq border with Syria.

A Very VIP Supervisor

Meanwhile, back in the UK, the forklifts and other equipment being used to prepare humanitarian aid were being supervised by a VIP visitor — British Prime Minister David Cameron — who recently traveled to the DfID facility to personally witness the government’s response.,

Mark Epton, of Jungheinrich, siad the company was happy to assist in such an important endeavor.

“Clearly time is often the critical factor in DfID’s work, so reliable materials handling equipment is essential,” Epton said. “We are delighted to be able to support DfID in their operations with our products and services.”

Coordinated US and UK Efforts

Similar humanitarian efforts are underway in the US. At least six airdrops have by US C-17 and two C-130 cargo aircraft already have provided hundreds of bundles of food and water to the refugees on the ground, according to officials at US Central Command, headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Forklifts and other materials handling equipment were used to load each C-17 with 80 container delivery system bundles full of fresh drinking water totaling 7,608 gallons. And each C-130 was loaded with nearly 100,000 meals ready to eat (MREs) and more than 27,000 gallons of fresh drinking water.

IsraAID, an Israeli non-governmental relief agency, also is delivering humanitarian aid to Christian and Yazidi refugees who have fled Iraq’s Kurdish region in the wake of ISIL hostilities. The group has provided hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, kitchen utensils and clothing.



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