- Associated Press - Saturday, August 9, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - One of the cargo planes that dropped supplies for refugees in northern Iraq was a C-17 from Joint Base Charleston.

The Air Force told South Carolina news outlets that the Charleston plane along with two C-130 cargo planes dropped 5,300 gallons of water and 8,000 meals to refugees in northern Iraq on Thursday.

The Air Force says the C-17 took off from an undisclosed forward base and was over the drop zone for about 15 minutes. The plane is one of more than 50 C-17s that are based in Charleston.

“It was a Charleston crew and they executed the mission very well,” Col. John Lamontagne, the commander of the 437th Airlift Wing based in Charleston, said in a statement to The Post and Courier. “We’ve received lots of positive feedback and while we expect this performance from our crews, we are still very proud of their professionalism, dedication, and expertise.”

The C-17, which can operate with only a three-person crew, has been used extensively in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the members of the state’s congressional delegation said they supported President Obama’s decision to launch air strikes and provide humanitarian aid in Iraq, Republican members criticized the president saying he doesn’t have a long-term strategic plan for the region.

“Air strikes in Iraq that are not followed up by air strikes in Syria are not going to get to the root cause of the problem,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN on Thursday.

And his colleague, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, released a statement saying the threat from the Islamic militants known as ISIS - The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - has been known for some time.

“The lack of foresight from the White House is disappointing and I certainly hope these targeted strikes are not too little too late,” he said.

But U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the only Democrat in the delegation, supported the president and said the Iraqis must come together to expel the militants.

“While I agree with the president that American ground troops should not return to Iraq, we must assist the Iraqis in their efforts to stop militant gains and prevent humanitarian catastrophe,” he told The State.

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