Military Continues Earthquake Relief Support in Pakistan
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2005 Coalition forces are continuing to provide earthquake rescue, recovery and relief in Pakistan, and the Defense Department is establishing a Humanitarian Coordination Center in Islamabad to coordinate military support for the effort, U.S. Central Command and Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials announced today.
"Our total focus is on relieving the suffering in Pakistan, help them stabilize and, in the longer term, recovery," said Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, who leads Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. Eikenberry is in Islamabad overseeing the initial U.S. military response to the disaster.
Meanwhile, DoD announced today that Navy Rear Adm. Michael A. LeFever has been designated to establish a Humanitarian Coordination Center in Islamabad. LeFever will coordinate DoD support to the State Department, other U.S. government agencies and the Pakistan government over the longer term in response to the devastating Oct. 8 earthquake, officials said.
In support of that effort, CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from Combined Joint Task Force 76 took off from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan again today to ferry supplies and injured people to and from the earthquake-stricken areas, officials said. Additionally, C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft will transport 30 pallets of relief supplies today to a Pakistan army airfield near Islamabad.
The immediate DoD assistance has flowed into Pakistan from throughout the region, including 12 pallets of food and medicine from U.S. supplies in Qatar and Kuwait, and heavy-lift and supply helicopters from Bahrain and Afghanistan, officials said. Additional C-17 aircraft are scheduled to arrive today.
On Oct. 10, five Chinooks and three Black Hawks from Combined Joint Task Force 76 flew from Bagram to Islamabad, Pakistan, to help with recovery operations.
Additionally, a C-17 aircraft and its crew from the 7th Airlift Squadron based at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., delivered 12 pallets, weighing almost 90,000 pounds, of food, water, medicine and blankets from Bagram, officials said. So far, 18 pallets of relief supplies have been transported by air to Pakistan, along with essential personnel needed to help with recovery operations.
Coalition personnel are working with Pakistan military officials to determine where help is most needed, officials said.
DoD is identifying and will deploy additional capabilities to assist the State Department and the affected countries, including the helicopters, engineering and heavy-lift capabilities, medical support and humanitarian assistance, officials said.
Together with other agencies of the U.S. government rendering assistance, DoD will work with the Pakistan government to assess what help can be made immediately and in the longer term, officials said.
(Compiled from U.S. Central Command and Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)