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News: Operation Damayan in full swing

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Operation Damayan relief effort in Philippines Cpl. Anne Henry

Lance Cpl. John Robertson, right, a landing support specialist with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assist a civilian displaced by Typhoon Haiyan as part of Operation Damayan at Villamor Air Base, Nov. 14. Typhoon Haiyan has impacted more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines according to the government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anne K. Henry/RELEASED)

MANILA, Philippines - By Wednesday morning, U.S. Marines from 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3rd MEB) had distributed approximately 384,400 pounds of relief supplies and helped 1,735 people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda find their way to Manila.

Operation Damayan, the U.S. government’s response to the Philippine government’s request for humanitarian assistance, had led to 12 U.S. Marine KC-130J Hercules helicopters and eight MV-22B Ospreys from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) to deploy to the Philippines to help supplies, survivors, military and civilian relief personnel reach typhoon affected areas of the country still largely impassable due to debris, flooding and a breakdown in ground transportation.

"Clearly the U.S. military offers additional and unique airlift capabilities," said Daniel Dieckhaus, a humanitarian assistance adviser with the office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. "With the U.S. and Philippine armed forces combining their air transport capabilities, we can reach some of the isolated areas much more quickly."

U.S. relief efforts include maritime search and rescue, fixed-wing lift support, medium to heavy helicopter lift support and logistics enablers.

“The current situation remains the same. It’s a serious disaster and there are a lot of people in need,” said Dieckhaus. “But we have ramped up significantly in the last 72 to 96 hours and we know where to target. We are here, but there is a lot of work to do.”

“The men and woman of the U.S. armed forces assisting the Republic of the Philippines are as dedicated to this mission as they are to the defense of their country,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, the deputy commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the commanding general of the 3rd MEB. “Assisting fulfills a promise that we made to friends and allies we’ve maintained a great relationship with over the last 100 years to be here in their time of need.”

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda has impacted more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines, according to the Philippine’s national disaster risk reduction and management council.

Although stressful, hectic and at times confusing, this real-world operation tested the joint training and collaboration skills of U.S. and Philippine forces, who worked together to resolve problems and provide aid as one unit during the Philippine-led operation.

“We have been working with [Marines] all throughout the year and for years before that,” said Col. Miguel E. Okol, the director of the public information office, Philippine air force. “The Marine Corps is optimized similar to ours, very disciplined and hardworking and on behalf of our leadership we appreciate their help.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Operation Damayan in full swing, by Cpl Jose Lujano, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.14.2013

Date Posted:11.14.2013 20:18

Location:MANILA, PHGlobe

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  • Four additional MV-22B Ospreys departed Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Nov. 13 to support Operation Damayan, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operation in the Republic of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
  • Approximately 45 Marines and Sailors with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade departed Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan Nov. 12 to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
  • Philip S. Goldberg, the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, visited sailors and Marines aboard the USS Germantown (LSD 42) Nov. 28 as the ship steamed through Leyte Gulf to thank them for their role in assisting the people of the Philippines during Operation Damayan.
  • Approximately 30 soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command departed for the Philippines this week to assist in Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief efforts.  

Select logistics experts from the TSC’s headquarters left Sunday, and troops from the 45th Sustainment Brigade’s 18th Movement Control Team (MCT) departed from Schofield Barracks today.

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