Lives saved during Operation Damayan
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA — At the request of the Government of the Philippines, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed U.S. Pacific Command to support U.S. Government humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the Republic of the Philippines in response to the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.
From Nov. 10-13 approximately 250 U.S. personnel, eight Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys and multiple KC-130J Hercules arrived in the Philippines. In those three days, personnel delivered more than 129,000 pounds of relief supplies – food, water and other emergency supplies – provided by the Philippine government and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and transported more than 140 passengers in the storm-ravaged area.
The aircraft also evacuated more than 160 refugees from the Tacloban area.
A forward command element and humanitarian assistance survey team, led by Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, the deputy commander of III MEF and the commanding general of 3rd MEB, deployed to the Philippines out of Okinawa.
“There’s a lot we can do,” said Kennedy. “We’re working hand in hand with the Philippines, both with their armed forces and the national police, and we will help them in their time of need.”
The initial focus of U.S. relief efforts includes surface maritime search and rescue, airborne maritime SAR, medium-heavy helicopter lift support, fixed-wing lift support and logistics enablers.
Super Typhoon Haiyan has impacted more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines, according to the Philippine government’s national disaster risk reduction and management council. Philippine officials will have a better idea of the damage and death toll in the coming days as transportation and communications systems are repaired.
Since 1990, the U.S. Government has responded to more than 40 disasters in the Republic of the Philippines at the request of its government, ranging from volcanic eruptions and drought, to population displacement.