Thursday, September 3, 2009

Air Force Validating Expeditionary HA/DR Capability in Micronesia

A team of 54 Air Force medical and contingency response experts arrived on the Micronesian island state of Chuuk Sept. 2 to begin a five-day validation of the Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT) team concept.

The humanitarian team was created in order to quickly respond to a disaster or humanitarian crisis in the Pacific region. Typhoons, earthquakes, or volcanoes are examples of catastrophes to which the HARRT would respond, explains an Air Force news story concerning the team’s arrival in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Thirteenth Air Force led the development of the HARRT concept and the validation will be realistic as the medical team will provide medical care to local communities. A 13th Air Force press release provides more details.

Designed to deploy to a disaster area within 24 hours of notice, the HARRT would provide initial primary care and preventive medicine for up to 350 to 500 patients per day. In an actual contingency, the team would be self-sufficient for up to five days before additional medical supplies and personnel would arrive on scene.

U.S. Pacific Command has a long history of supporting U.S. Government humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) efforts throughout Asia-Pacific. The full range of supporting capabilities are continually refined and put to the test through military training exercises and dedicated humanitarian civic assistance missions.

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