Monday, June 22, 2009

Reagan Crew Recognizes Anniversary of Philippines Typhoon Assistance

The crew of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan recognized the anniversary of last year’s support of a Philippine government humanitarian relief effort June 21 by hosting a group of distinguished visitors onboard for a ceremony in waters off the central Philippine island of Panay, and with a community service project ashore.

Following destruction caused by Typhoon Fengshen, also known as Typhoon Frank, in June 2008, aircrews from the Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) flew 332 sorties and delivered more than 519,000 pounds of much-needed supplies such as food, water and medical supplies to typhoon victims on the island. According to an Agence France-Presse report, more than 1,000 died and over a million were left homeless in the Philippines as a result of the typhoon,

As explained in a Navy news story, to commemorate the anniversary a wreath laying ceremony took place on the ship that included the participation of Under Secretary Ernesto Carolina of the Republic of the Philippines' Department of Defense. A team of Sailors also flew ashore to help restore a high school that was damaged by the typhoon.

The 2008 relief effort on Panay was a cooperative effort between the men and women of the Reagan CSG and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Throughout the Pacific Command area of responsibility, through professional exchanges and training exercises that focus on or include an emphasis on disaster relief operations in support of civil authorities, U.S. military personnel and their regional counterparts are routinely strengthening partnerships and interoperatbility that may be tested by natural disaster, as was the case one year ago.

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