By ISAF Joint CommandAugust 4, 2010
KABUL, Afghanistan (Army News Service, Aug. 4, 2010) -- U.S. military forces in Afghanistan are responding rapidly to the disastrous flooding that has reportedly killed more than 1,200 people in Pakistan, 60 in Afghanistan and affected millions.
U.S. forces have already delivered more than 189,000 packaged halal meals and are preparing to deliver more than 200,000 more meals in the next 24 hours. U.S. military experts in medicine, logistics, aviation, engineering and other fields are on the ground in Pakistan, and more are on the way to assist the Pakistan government.
"U.S. Forces Afghanistan are actively engaged with our Pakistan friends and partners in the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance during this critical time," said Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. "It is vitally important we try to help those who have been tragically affected by the massive flooding. There are some tasks that the U.S. military is uniquely able to perform. We are in the process of performing some of those tasks, and we're deploying additional elements to perform more of them. We will continue to support this humanitarian effort, and we stand by to assist the Pakistani government any way we can."
A group of six CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60 Black Hawks with about 100 U.S. military personnel from the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan are expected to depart today for Ghazi Airbase, which is serving as the main logistics hub in Pakistan for the humanitarian response.
In an effort to provide U.S. and Pakistan commanders with real-time video surveillance over disaster-stricken areas, the U.S. military is also supplying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
The aircraft and personnel from Afghanistan will serve as an early response support element to Pakistan-relief efforts as U.S. Central Command prepares to deploy more personnel, aviation assets and equipment from outside Afghanistan, officials said.
Other U.S.-related efforts include:
- U.S. helicopters working under Squadron 50 of the Afghan Ministry of Interior since July 30 have rescued a total of 733 people and transported 11,873 pounds of provisions to flood victims.
- Four Zodiac inflatable rescue boats with power motors and two water filtration units in the affected area.
- 12 pre-fabricated steel bridges have been made available as temporary replacements for highway bridges damaged by flooding in Peshawar and Kurram.
The flooding which began June 29, resulting from a monsoon rainfall, has washed away more than 100 bridges and significant stretches of road, and is reported to have isolated more than 600,000 people between upper Swat and Kalam in northern Pakistan.