TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — 270 people returned to the United States from Israel Sunday night thanks to a Project Dynamo rescue mission.
This flight was the first of 602 missions that wasn’t exclusively donor-funded.
“When Americans are stuck or in trouble, someone has to show up,” said Bryan Stern, founder of Project Dynamo.
This flight was funded by Florida’s Department of Emergency Management after an executive order was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was waiting on the tarmac at Tampa International Airport to welcome the plane.
“We are so glad we’ve been rescued by Project Dynamo and brought us home, we’re so thankful, so thankful to be home,” said Ron Neumann, who was on the plane along with his wife, Linda.
“I’m humbled to think that people risked their lives to come and get our fellow Jews out of the war zone,” Linda said.
“We deployed forward to Israel the day after the attack,” Stern said. “In 602 missions, that is the first time an American politician has ever met us at home.”
This project was their fourth combat deployment in the last 24 months, dubbed “Moses 5” by the group. Stern said they’ve rescued nearly 6,800 people from dangerous places like Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan and elsewhere since he began doing this work.
“We’ve done everything from break Americans out of jail from Russia, to Americans from Afghanistan that were left behind, all kinds of things,” he said.
Stern fears the airspace around Tel Aviv may be closed in the coming days. His team is planning a maritime rescue in case they can no longer fly in.
Outside of this mission, their rescues are funded entirely by donations. Learn more by visiting their website.