In response to a request for U.S. assistance from the president and minister of defense of South Africa, the Department of Defense is providing humanitarian assistance to flooded regions of South Africa and Mozambique ravaged by a recent round of severe tropical storms.
The Department is providing this assistance following a visit to South Africa by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in which he pledged to assist during this disaster. Last week the U.S. European Command deployed a 12-man Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team which worked with U.S. Embassy personnel, U.S. Agency for International Development and regional authorities in South Africa and Mozambique to determine support requirements.
One C-5A aircraft is scheduled to depart from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., this weekend headed to Pretoria, South Africa, and a C-141 will deploy later from Europe to Maputo, Mozambique.
The C5-A will be carrying approximately 140 tents and more than 4,500 blankets from excess DOD stocks. The shipment is expected to arrive on Feb. 28.
The C-141 will transport additional humanitarian supplies provided by the USAID. These supplies are expected to include approximately 2,400 blankets, 6,000 five-gallon water cans and 160 rolls of plastic sheeting for emergency shelter from USAID stockpiles in Pisa, Italy. This shipment is expected to arrive early next week.
Responsibility for distributing these supplies will rest with the South African National Defense Force, the government of Mozambique and the U.N. World Food Program.
Additional information is available on the Internet at http://www.eucom.mil/operations/Silent%20Promise/index.htm (no longer available).