Combined Support Force Continues to Refine Relief Efforts
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
UTAPAO, Thailand, Jan. 11, 2005 Relief efforts continue in the Southeast Asian region devastated by the Dec. 26 earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Water-production facilities are being established in Indonesia in coordination with the host government, Marine Lt. Col. Robert Krieg, lead future operations planner for Combined Support Force 536, said today during a briefing here.
Five C-130s have arrived at Banda Aceh with an Air Force mobility support team to organize an airport ramp area. That, Krieg said, is one of the "critical things" needed at Banda Aceh.
"It's a small airfield," he said. "We're trying to put a lot of supplies through there. Many nations are trying to put supplies through there. Those folks are really going to help the effort down there."
The U.S. Navy pre-positioning ship MV Pless, with the capability to offload fresh water, is off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Those operations have not begun, but the ship is standing by should the Indonesian government make such a request. The USS Duluth also arrived in the area and is ferrying supplies to shore via amphibious landing craft.
Debris has also begun being cleared from Sri Lanka. At least 150 metric tons of debris was cleared from the roads. Some was deposited to reconstruct the seawall, and some was taken to a Sri Lankan landfill.
Pulau Simeule, a small island about 60 miles off the coast of Indonesia, is getting new attention. The USS Bonhomme Richard is delivering supplies to the island's 1,000-person population.
Numbers continue to grow with the relief efforts. Krieg said 850 sorties have been flown since the beginning of operations. They have moved 46,000 gallons of fresh water, 4,009 pounds of food, 775,000 pounds of supplies. They have also transported 153 injured people, he said.