U.S. Military Efforts Continue in Pakistan Earthquake Relief
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2005 U.S. military units continue to support relief operations in Pakistan following the devastating earthquake that struck South Asia Oct. 8.
U.S. Army Europe officials reported that the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, 30th Medical Brigade, based in Miesau, Germany, will establish and run a 36-bed medical facility in the stricken region.
The 123rd Main Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division, based in Dexheim, Germany, is providing a water purification detachment, which can take water from almost any source and make it potable using the reverse osmosis water purification unit. And the 66th Military Intelligence Group, based in Darmstadt, Germany, will provide translators to support the relief effort.
Officials at Fort McPherson, Ga., report the U.S. Army Reserve has been called to send helicopters to Pakistan. Today, about 200 Army Reservists and 12 CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Company B, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, received orders to deploy. The company, with headquarters in Olathe, Kan., recently was mobilized and had reported to Fort Sill, Okla., as part of a rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Today's order alters their mission, officials said.
The unit is expected to perform missions similar to the type that Army Reserve CH-47s have performed in support of hurricane relief in the United States, officials said. Those missions included rescue operations, levee breech repair, firefighting and transportation of cargo and personnel. Army Reserve CH-47s are continuing support operations in the New Orleans area.
The Defense Logistics Agency has provided food, blankets, cots and more supplies. The agency's efforts are being coordinated by the DLA Logistics Operations Center, under the guidance of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which is leading the support mission, DLA officials said.
DLA's contingency support team in Kuwait helped the Combined Forces Land Component commander by coordinating the consolidation, palletizing and movement of excess materiel, officials said. This materiel was gathered from the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Services storage area in Kuwait and has been sent to the Kuwait City International Airport for military airlift to the affected area.
The team in Kuwait assisted in the shipment of 5,040 pre-packaged meals that meet Islamic dietary laws from CFLC's stocks. Another 7,500-plus such meals are at the Kuwait airport awaiting airlift to Pakistan.
A team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District headed for Pakistan today to join coalition forces in humanitarian efforts. The team, composed of engineering specialists in structural engineering, public works and emergency response, received alert notification Oct. 12 and immediately began preparations for the deployment, officials said. The AED team will assess needs from an engineering perspective and recommend whether support from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required.
"I had the opportunity to assist in recovery operations after a major earthquake in Turkey in 1992, so I felt I could make a contribution," said Larry Ryan, an AED team member.
"My parents are from Pakistan, so I know the culture and the language. It's my way of giving back to those who need help -- another opportunity, like that here (in Afghanistan), to do something that has meaning," said Maryam Khan, another member. In Pakistan, the team will link up with other forward engineer elements and begin coordination and missions.
(Compiled from U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Defense Logistics Agency and Afghanistan Engineer District news releases. Mo Ramsey of Afghanistan Engineer District contributed to this report.)