The Afghan parents of a baby born on a C-17 plane that was evacuating passengers to Germany named their daughter after the plane’s call sign, a senior US general said this week.
“They named the little girl Reach, and they did so because the callsign of the C-17 plane that flew them from Qatar to Ramstein was Reach,” said General Tod Wolters, commander of US European Command, in a Pentagon -Message conference on Wednesday.
The Afghan mother, who is not named, had contractions and complications on Saturday on a flight from a base in Qatar to the Ramstein air base in southwest Germany, the US Air Force said on Twitter.
In response, the C-17 – identified on the radio as Reach 828 – sank in altitude to increase air pressure on the plane, “which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” the Air Force said.
After the plane landed, paramedics got on board and helped drop the baby into the hold. A group of women protected their mother’s privacy with their scarves, said Capt. Erin Brymer, a nurse who helped deliver the child, told CNN.
By the time they got there, the woman was “past the point of no return,” she said. “This baby was supposed to be born before we could possibly move it to another facility.”
Pictures released by the US Air Force showed the woman being transported from the plane to a nearby medical facility shortly after the birth of her daughter.
General Wolters said the baby was one of three – all in good condition – born to women who boarded evacuation flights from Afghanistan. Two more were delivered at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a military hospital in southern Germany.
“It is my dream to see this little kid named Reach grow up and become a US citizen and fly United States Air Force fighter jets in our air force,” General Wolters told reporters.