Airmen support Bangladesh relief operations
By , 36 Wing/Public Affairs
/ Published November 27, 2007
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- Pacific Air Forces units are providing relief in Bangladesh in the wake of a tropical cyclone which struck the nation's south coast Nov. 15 causing significant damage and thousands of casualties.
Elements of the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, arrived at Dhaka, Bangladesh, Nov. 24, as part of the U.S. military assistance to the Government of Bangladesh's relief operations. The contingent, which was forward deployed to U Taphao, Thailand, Nov. 17, has established command and control and airfield operations at Dhaka. A C-130 Hercules assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing began flying relief supplies, including water, food, blankets, tents and clothes, from Dhaka to Barisal, Bangladesh, today. From Barisal, relief supplies are being distributed throughout the stricken nation by U.S. Marine Corps helicopters. Currently, there are an estimated 160 short tons of relief supplies at Dhaka that are scheduled to be flown to Barisal over the next five days.
In anticipation of a higher headquarters tasking to support possible U.S. military relief operations in support of the Government of Bangladesh, 36th CRG members and equipment were prepositioned at U Taphao, Thailand.
After receiving the formal request for U.S. military assistance from the Government of Bangladesh, Pacific Air Forces, under the lead of 13th Air Force, established an air shuttle between Zia International Airport, Dhaka, and Barisal. One 374th Airlift Wing C-130 from Yokota Air Base, Japan, is currently at Dhaka and a second 374th AW C-130 is en route with a C-130 maintenance team from Yokota. Additionally, two C-17s assigned to Hickam's 15th Airlift Wing have flown personnel, equipment and relief supplies from Hickam and Andersen AFB to U Taphao and Dhaka.
The U.S. military deployment is part of a larger United States response to the Government of Bangladesh's request for humanitarian assistance. This effort is coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development.