Rumsfeld Pledges DoD's Help in Earthquake Relief
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2005 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today expressed his condolences to those affected by the Oct. 8 earthquake that killed at least 20,000 people in South Asia and pledged the Defense Department's help "to ease the suffering and assist in search and rescue operations."
In a written statement, Rumsfeld said Army Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, and other officials have been in touch with military officials in Pakistan, and that CENTCOM is moving five CH-47 and three UH-60 helicopters into Pakistan immediately.
"Additional capabilities for airborne reconnaissance, heavy lift ground equipment, and medical support are being identified and dispatched from within the Central Command region," Rumsfeld's statement said.
The secretary said he'd designate a dedicated task force commander in the region today to work with the affected governments, to help assess their needs, and to draw on U.S. military capabilities from inside or outside the affected region as may be available and required.
"Our prayers go with those who have lost loved ones in the terrible situation," Rumsfeld's statement concluded.