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Military Providing Disaster Relief Assistance on Maui

The Defense Department is continuing to support disaster relief efforts related to the devastating wildfire on Maui, Hawaii, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh today.

Missions Under the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Providing inter-island air and sea transportation for the movement of cargo, personnel, supplies and equipment. 
Setting up a DOD-coordinated element office that includes liaison officers.
Using Schofield Barracks in Oahu to support facilities for billeting, life support and hygiene facilities for federal emergency responders.
Standing by for aerial fire suppression.
Providing transportation of personnel and cargo.
Setting up additional staging areas on Maui and Oahu.
An emergency vehicle drives down a street as service members walk alongside it, assessing wildfire damage.
Hawaii Search and Rescue
Search and rescue soldiers and airmen assist Maui County and state officials in search and recovery efforts in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, Aug. 10, 2023. The guardsmen mobilized after a wildfire struck Maui.
Photo By: National Guard Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson
VIRIN: 230810-Z-IX631-1165Y

U.S. Army Pacific Command is the organization designated by the commander of U.S. Indo Pacific Command to oversee all DOD support to civilian authorities on Maui.  

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has designated Army Brig. Gen. Stephen F. Logan as commander of the Joint Task Force 5-0. The task force will synchronize all DOD support to operations on Maui.  

The Hawaii National Guard has activated about 258 soldiers and airmen for duty that includes liaison support to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, command and control elements, and local law enforcement, Singh said.

People gather around laptops.
FEMA Urban Search and Rescue and Partners Continue Maui Wildfire
Federal Emergency Management Agency search and rescue teams from Washington and Nevada work with federal and private sector partners to continue wildfire response efforts, Aug. 14, 2023, at Lahaina, Hawaii.
Photo By: Wesley Lagenour, Federal Emergency Management Agency
VIRIN: 230814-O-FV683-8213

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been assigned to remove debris and temporarily restore power, she said.

Singh said the Coast Guard has been working to minimize maritime environmental impacts, while remaining ready to respond to any new reports of individuals in the water. 

Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu and the Coast Guard National Strike Force have established a safety zone extending one nautical mile seaward from the shoreline and deployed pollution response teams and equipment to affected locations — including a 100-foot containment boom placed at the mouth of Lahaina Harbor — to contain any potentially hazardous contaminants and material.  

Separately, in response to the volcano eruption on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, the amphibious assault ship USS America and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit have supported U.S. government efforts for foreign disaster relief to affected residences at the request of the nation's government.

Marines load boxes of supplies into the open doorway of a parked aircraft.
Loading Labor
U.S. Marines and Bougainville Disaster Response Joint-Agency personnel load supplies onto an MV-22B Osprey during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, Aug. 12, 2023.
Photo By: Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. J. R. Heins
VIRIN: 230812-M-BN069-1440M

Over the course of the 10-day humanitarian assistance operation, sailors and Marines provided aerial transportation for nearly 35 tons of disaster relief and supplies to remote aid centers on the island, she said. 

The team also assisted in loading and unloading supplies, "demonstrating their commitment to serving as a crisis response team to the people of Bougainville," Singh added.


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