WASHINGTON (AFPS, May 18, 2008) - The U.S. military has responded to Chinese requests, delivering critically needed relief supplies to the earthquake-stricken Sichuan province.

More than 32,000 people are known dead from the 7.9 quake that hit May 12. About 250,000 are hurt, according to Chinese government releases. Thousands remain missing and are feared dead under the rubble.

U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft from Elemendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, have delivered tents, food, blankets, lanterns, generators and other supplies directly to the airport at Chengdu, the largest city in Sichuan, officials reported.

Senior members of the People's Liberation Army met the aircrews when they arrived.

The People's Republic of China sent more than $5 million in aid to the United States following Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.

"The members of U.S. Pacific Command offer our sincere condolences to the citizens of the People's Republic of China who have been affected by this recent earthquake," said Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, the command if U.S. Pacific Command. "We will continue to provide any assistance we can to minimize their suffering and loss of life."

The Chinese relief missions are taking place as PACOM also delivers desperately needed humanitarian aid to Burma following a deadly cyclone.

(Jim Garamone writes for the American Forces Press Service.)