Thursday, October 1, 2009

PACOM Support of Philippines, American Samoa Relief Efforts Ongoing

Military forces from U.S. Pacific Command are supporting disaster relief efforts in both the Philippines and American Samoa.

Over the past two days, Pacific Air Forces C-17 aircraft have flown four missions, providing transport for approximately 100 Hawaii National Guard, FEMA personnel, and a variety of cargo, including vehicles, communications equipment, cots, blankets, and food in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Navy frigate USS Ingraham is also supporting FEMA’s efforts in American Samoa, having arrived yesterday, with its embarked helicopters already having allowed Governor Tulafono and FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth J. Tingman to survey damage while also conducting a search and rescue mission.

Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), based in Hawaii, is leading U.S. military support to FEMA in American Samoa.

In the Philippines, a group of approximately 75 Marines and Sailors from the III Marine Expeditionary Force, which is leading the military support effort there, began delivering relief supplies and providing basic medical care in metro Manila on Oct. 1 in partnership with Philippine authorities. They delivered nearly 2,500 family food packs and provided basic medical and dental services to more than 750 patients.

The USS Denver Amphibious Task Group is also on the way to the Philippines for a scheduled exercise with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and will be called upon to support the ongoing effort, and provide additional assistance if needed. The group includes the amphibious ships USS Denver, USS Harpers Ferry, and USS Tortuga.

In the Philippines, as is typical in international relief operations, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) efforts are in support of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

U.S. Pacific command maintains significant capability forward deployed throughout the Asia-Pacific region ready to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and has a history of working with government agencies, international relief organizations, and host nations to reach those affected by natural disasters.

Follow U.S. Pacific Command’s support of ongoing relief efforts on the PACOM Website and share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.

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