U.S. Military Medics to Respond in Peru Quake-Relief Efforts
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2007 A joint U.S. military mobile surgical team from Joint Task Force Bravo, based at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, will deploy to Peru today as part of U.S. Southern Command’s response to an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the South American nation Aug. 15. (Video)
Senior Airman Kenneth Cumbie, 612th Air Base Squadron, drives a forklift to load medical supplies onto a C-130 from the Maryland Air National Guard. Approximately 30 soldiers and airmen are responding to the Aug. 15 earthquake in Peru and are taking with them 4,470 pounds of medical supplies for relief efforts. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonny Cohrs
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The deployment follows a disaster declaration issued yesterday by U.S. Ambassador to Peru Peter Michael McKinley.
The 30-member U.S. Army and Air Force surgical team will include a general surgeon, anesthesiologist, general practitioner, physician’s assistant, nurses and medical technicians and will partner with the U.S. Embassy, as well as Peruvian defense and health officials to provide specialized medical services to area residents, SOUTHCOM officials said.
“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Peru and the families affected by this tragic earthquake,” Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said. “Any time there is disaster of this magnitude, there is dramatic increase in the medical needs of those communities affected. As a partner nation and close friend of Peru, we stand ready to assist with those resources and capabilities at our disposal.”
A U.S. Air Force C-130 from 156th Airlift Wing, based in Puerto Rico, will airlift the surgical team to Peru.
U.S. Southern Command military planners continue to work with interagency partners and Peruvian counterparts to assess recovery needs in the affected areas and identify additional U.S. military units that may be able to provide assistance, officials said.
JTF Bravo, the only U.S. Southern Command component with permanently assigned U.S. military personnel, is a first responder to crises in the region and routinely conducts humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, search-and-rescue, personnel-recovery and non-combatant medical evacuation operations.
(From a U.S. Southern Command news release.)