By David San MiguelNovember 26, 2013
Only days after a massive typhoon packing winds approaching 200 mph tore through the Philippines Nov. 8, the 413th Contracting Support Brigade's contract ready teams were alerted to stand by to support humanitarian relief efforts there.
The 413th CSB is based in Hawaii and provides contracting support to U.S. Army Pacific and Pacific joint forces.
According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Super Typhoon Haiyan was equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane with 23-foot wave length storm surges, extensive flooding and mudslides.
The U.S. Agency for International Development reported the storm affected an estimated 9.7 million people, and damaged or destroyed approximately 23,200 houses, as well as public infrastructure and agricultural land. Estimates include more than 4,000 confirmed deaths and more than 1,600 still missing.
Responding to the Philippine government's call for support, the U.S. dispatched the 8th Theater Sustainment Command Joint Logistics Coordination Element-Forward to Manila, Philippines, to support relief efforts there. Lt. Col. David Luttrell, operational contract support planner and the 413th's brigade plans chief, was deployed as part of that group to make an assessment of support required to assist. His assessment will determine whether the brigade sends its CRTs to support the mission.
According to Maj. Frankie Cruz, S-3 operations officer, 413th CSB, the brigade has two five-person teams of contingency contracting officers ready to support worldwide contingency operations: a primary team which must be ready to deploy within 24 hours notice and a secondary team which must be ready to deploy within 72 hours.