Friday, October 9, 2009

Arrival of Helicopters Speeds Indonesia Relief as Philippines Focus Shifts

USS Denver and USS McCampbell arrived off the coast of Padang, Indonesia in the early morning hours of Oct. 9 and their embarked helicopters were immediately put to use delivering needed supplies and assisting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with assessments of remote areas. Meanwhile in the Philippines, just as U.S. military flood relief efforts in the capital of Manila were coming to an end Oct. 8, flooding farther north caused by a second storm resulted in a new request for military assistance.


As shown in a series of Associated Press photos, the first order of business for Marine Corps CH-53 helicopters was the delivery of more than 9,000 pounds of relief supplies to the remote mountain village of Koto Tingii Oct. 9. The delivery was coordinated by USAID. Navy SH-60 helicopters also flew, providing airlift for USAID officials, allowing them to survey outlying areas that have been difficult or impossible to reach since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck west Sumatra Sept. 30.

Close coordination is taking place between U.S. military officials, the Indonesian Armed Forces, USAID and local leaders to schedule military airlift and other apply other military capabilities.

The Air Force Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT) field medical clinic is fully operational and 599 patients have received acute care or minor surgical procedures over the past three days.


USS Harpers Ferry and USS Tortuga, along with members of III Marine Expeditionary Force, are now in the Lingayen Gulf, hours north of Manila. Mudslides and floods caused by Typhoon Parma earlier this week have left more than 100 dead in northern Luzon. They are working with their counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build a plan for maximizing available Navy and Marine assets to provide assistance as needed.

Marines and Sailors spent the previous week in metro Manila providing relief in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Ketsana Sept. 26. They delivered more than 28,000 food packages coordinated by local businesses, provided basic medical services to more than 4,000, and cleared thousands of meters of roads and debris.

For a daily update that highlights ongoing relief efforts, see the fact sheet on the Disaster Relief page of the U.S. Pacific Command website.

For regular updates throughout the day, join U.S. Pacific Command on Twitter and Facebook.

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