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U.S. Military Continues Georgia Humanitarian Aid Effort

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dana M. Clark
Special to American Forces Press Service

STUTTGART, Germany, Aug. 19, 2008 – U.S. European Command is coordinating sustained airlift support as the United States continues to send humanitarian supplies and medical supplies to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

So far, the U.S. military has delivered more than 270,000 pounds of aid on 12 missions to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, with more relief on the way in the coming days, officials said.

Flying out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the missions are delivering bandages, surgical supplies and medicine, as well as emergency shelters and bedding.

The joint effort, with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines all involved -- has delivered more than 6,000 blankets, nearly 12,000 sheets, 580 cots, and more than 17,000 sleeping bags to Georgia.

EUCOM also is coordinating the transportation of 300,000 humanitarian daily food rations, 7,000 military field-ration meals, and more than 2,000 personal hygiene kits.

In addition to the military’s role, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are involved in the humanitarian relief effort. The supplies are being distributed and coordinated by five nongovernmental organizations: Counterpart International, A Call to Serve -- Georgia, International Relief and Development, Hellenicare, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief. All humanitarian assistance efforts have been closely coordinated with the Georgian government and international organizations, officials said.

The EuCom joint assessment team, led by Army Brig. Gen. Jon Miller, deputy commander of 21st Theater Sustainment Command and commander of 7th Army Reserve Command, arrived in Tbilisi yesterday at the request of the Georgian government. The team will conduct a deliberate and focused assessment, encompassing variables such as transportation, infrastructure, manpower and many other life-support considerations, EuCom officials said.

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dana M. Clark serves in the U.S. European Command Public Affairs Office.)

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