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News Release


Release No: 472-95
August 29, 1995


The Departments of Defense and State have plans to help improve thetransportation infrastructure of Angola by providing humanitarian aid in theform of bridge sets and supporting equipment. Nineteen bridges, tworeinforcement kits and one launching kit will be surface-shipped from themanufacturer in San Luis Obispo, Calif., to the U.S. Embassy in the Angolancapital of Luanda. The shipment is expected to be completed by mid-November.

The equipment, weighing in at more than 2,500 short tons, includesprefabricated spans ranging from 60 to 200 feet in length, all capable ofcarrying vehicles up to 80,000 pounds gross weight. The reinforcement kitsprovide an ability to extend existing bridge sets if necessary, while thelaunching kit -- special equipment and gear -- allows for spans to be installedacross rivers using only common hand tools and a small tractor. This negatesthe need for heavy equipment, cranes, and temporary falsework.

DOD will assume shipping costs, estimated at more than $958,000. Once there,the Angolan government will assume responsibility for placement andconstruction of the bridge sets.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs(HRA) Patricia L. Irvin said the Department, in cooperation with othergovernment agencies and within the limits of its resources, understands andstrives to fulfill its responsibility to help alleviate suffering throughoutthe world. She said the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) is often themost economical means available to local charitable organizations to transportdonated goods to foreign countries for humanitarian purposes.

Under the 1986 DOD Authorization Act, HRA is authorized to transport non-lethalexcess property, relief supplies and privately donated cargo to meethumanitarian needs worldwide. In fiscal year 1994, HAP completed 72humanitarian shipments to more than 39 countries with an estimated acquisitionvalue of $66.5 million.

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