Story of Diplomacy
In the face of a national lockdown that grounded air traffic, halted trains, and restricted roadways, the U.S. Mission to India’s top priority was assisting U.S. citizens located across the country’s vast landscape.
Our nation’s diplomats are serving on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic as international first responders, as they have for 200 years. Their priority is to protect American citizens abroad during crises and bring them home or repatriate them if needed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated the social media hashtag #AmericansHome to signal his support for these heroic behind-the-scenes efforts. As of June 1, 2020, the State Department has repatriated more than 98,000 American citizens during the pandemic.
Operational Medicine has a worldwide mandate to support evacuations and respond to crises on short notice. Op MED, in coordination with interagency and private sector partners, quickly developed a logistical framework to safely evacuate potentially infected Americans from Wuhan, China, in January 2020. This initial successful mission quickly became an ongoing mission that continues during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Members of NMAD’s staff had the extraordinary opportunity to accompany The Guardians on their mission to Brazzaville and Yaounde from April 23-25, 2020. During this trip, NMAD staff collected unique artifacts and captured imagery and video footage that show the tireless behind-the-scenes efforts of all the partners involved in these missions. Collecting in “real-time” enables NMAD to fulfill its unique mission to preserve and tell the stories of the history, practice, and challenges of diplomacy.
To commemorate the multiple evacuation flights out of Wuhan, China, in partnership with Operational Medicine, the crew of Kalitta Air created this patch that honors the efforts to bring #AmericansHome in quick succession. The “846” on the nose of the plane refers to the total number of people they evacuated from Wuhan. The numbers of each flight encircle the lower edge of the patch.