WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2010) -- Defense Department officials announced today the deployment of 18 additional helicopters to Pakistan as part of the expanding U.S. contribution to flood-relief efforts there.

The aircraft include 10 CH-47 Chinook and eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The unit will operate alongside the Pakistani military throughout flood-affected areas.

These helicopters are expected to begin flood-relief efforts in Pakistan in mid-September, officials said.

This is the latest in a series of deployments in response to Pakistan's urgent request for flood-relief assistance. About 15 U.S. military helicopters and three C-130 Hercules aircraft already supporting flood-relief efforts in Pakistan have transported more than 2 million pounds of humanitarian assistance supplies and rescued more than 7,000 people.

Today, helicopters transported more than 750 people and delivered more than 160,000 pounds of food and supplies. C-130s delivered 6,000 pounds of food and supplies.

Since the floods began July 29, the United States has provided $150 million to support immediate relief efforts and has allocated an additional $50 million to assist with re-establishment of communities impacted by the floods, according to Defense Department reports.