DHAKA, Bangladesh (Army News Service, Nov. 29, 2007) - A medical team from the U.S. Army Pacific Command provided humanitarian aid and medical assistance to millions of people affected by Cyclone Sidr last week.
The category-4 cyclone struck Bangladesh in mid-November with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour, killing more than 3,500 people and leaving millions without homes and safe drinking water.
The USARPAC medical team worked with their Bangladeshi counterparts, as well as members of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, to ensure civilians received the basic supplies needed to sustain life.
The USARPAC team was already in Bangladesh, participating in Exercise Tendon Bengal. The exercise united medical crews from the U.S. and Bangladeshi Armies, along with civilian specialists, to improve military partnership. The team trained on natural disaster relief and humanitarian assistance during the exercise.
"It was in the back of my mind the whole time what was going on, to be brought into the reality of what occurred," said Col. Thomas Bailey, officer in charge of Tendon Bengal 2007. "It was coincidence that we came to face this situation, and we were mentally ready. I hope we can utilize the lessons that we learned."