Rumsfeld Thanks NATO Allies for Support in Hurricane Recovery
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
BERLIN, Sep. 13, 2005 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today thanked NATO nations for an outpouring of support toward U.S. regions damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
"The NATO countries, indeed, countries around the world have been wonderfully forthcoming," Rumsfeld said in a brief news statement here with his British counterpart, Secretary of State for Defense John Reid.
Rumsfeld said he had personally expressed his appreciation to the British government for its support. The United Kingdom airlifted 500,000 military ration packs to the American Gulf Coast.
"No one could help but be moved by the pictures of devastation to New Orleans and the surrounding areas, and the plight of those affected," Reid said in a statement Sept. 5.
A NATO trainer cargo aircraft departed the Czech Republic Sept. 11 with a cargo of humanitarian supplies, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe spokeswoman U.S. Army Col. Catherine Abbott said here today. The plane flew first to its home base at Geilenkirchen, Germany, and then on to Little Rock, Ark., with its load of 24,000 blankets, 600 camp beds and 14 large tents.
A NATO TCA can carry 85 crew and passengers and 8 to 10 tons of equipment, according to information on the NATO Web site.
Another such relief flight is due to reach the U.S. Sept. 14, Abbott said.
The colonel explained that NATO nations have made many offers of assistance, and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency decides which offers to accept based on specific needs in the hurricane-stricken area.