A U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant from Bardstown has been named to Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Air Force officials announced Thursday.
Antonio D. Travis was one of the first military members at the Toussaint L' Ouverture International Airport in Port au Prince, Haiti, after the Jan. 12 earthquake. He arrived in the city, to lead a special tactics team, about 30 hours after the quake, and less than 12 hours after Haiti's president requested assistance from the United States.
"Twenty-eight minutes after touchdown, we controlled the first air landing followed immediately by a departure, and we did not slow down for the next 12 days," Travis told lawmakers in congressional testimony earlier this year.
Travis led the largest single-runway operation in history, using hand-held radios to control the aircraft, according to an Air Force news release. The air traffic control tower was a card table set up next to the runway.
Travis' team creatively managed an inadequate airfield for relief flights with 42 aircraft on a parking ramp designed to accommodate 10 large planes. The aircraft delivered water, food and medical supplies in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development's international humanitarian effort.
Travis' combat controllers reduced a four-hour hold time in the air on the first day to less than 15 minutes by the third day. The team controlled as many as 250 aircraft each day without incident.
Travis is the chief enlisted manager of the Air Force Special Operations Training Center in Hurlburt Field, Fla., where he lives with his wife and three children. He served about seven years in the Marine Corps before becoming a combat controller in the Air Force in 1993.
"As a senior combat controller, he has supported combat, combat support, humanitarian and search and rescue operations throughout the United States, Pacific, and European theaters and many austere locations across the globe," Air Force officials said in a news release.
The full list of honorees appears in Time magazine's May 10 issue, which will be available on newsstands Friday. The list recognizes people "who are using their ideas, their visions and their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people," Time managing editor Rick Stengel said in a news release.