By Ms. Jennifer Leigh King (AMC)July 22, 2008
SECKENHEIM, Germany-The 3rd Battalion of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade recently supported a U.S. Agency for International Development mission to the Philippines after the country was hit by a typhoon last month.
Typhoon Fengshen (Frank) made landfall in the Eastern Visaya region, delivering heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 175 kilometers per hour, according to the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.
The Philippines National Disaster Coordination Council reported that nearly 2.9 million people across 46 provinces were impacted by the storm, and initial property damage is estimated at $22 million.
In response to the storm's damage, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance contacted the 3/405th AFSB, located at Camp Darby, Italy, and requested immediate support for the shipment of humanitarian supplies to the region.
The 3/405th AFSB is responsible for the storage and maintenance of USAID humanitarian supplies under an interagency agreement between the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Army.
Lt. Col. Roger McCreery, commander of the 3/405th AFSB, was surprised to learn that the battalion had such an international reach.
"Prior to taking command of the battalion, I was unaware that an Army battalion in Italy supported missions on such a far reaching international scale," he said. "I'm extremely proud that this organization is able to assist people in need thousands of miles away, and I'm pleased that we can provide USAID the support that it needs to accomplish its humanitarian relief missions."
Alberto Chidini, 3/405th AFSB director of supply, is responsible for coordinating the preparation of USAID supplies for transport to those in need.
"At the request of USAID, we prepared emergency relief supplies for shipment to the Filipino people who have been affected by the recent typhoon," Chidini explained. "We packaged 340 rolls of plastic sheeting, 3,360 hygiene kits, and 6,600 each of ten-liter collapsible water containers. USAID then transported the supplies to the Pisa Airport and airlifted them directly to Iloilo Airport in the Philippines."
According to USAID, the value of the commodities sent to the Filipino people originating at the 3/405th AFSB was more than $550,000, including transportation.