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    1st TSC aids Tajik victims of natural disaster

    1st TSC aids Tajik victims of natural disaster

    Courtesy Photo | Jamakhon Rajabov, chief of customs in the Kulyob district of Tajikistan, spontaneously...... read more read more

    CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT

    05.22.2010

    Story by Sgt. Jason Adolphson 

    1st Theater Sustainment Command

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – The 1st Theater Sustainment Command civil military operations center conducted a humanitarian aid mission to mitigate human suffering in Tajikistan after flooding and mudslides recently left more than 20 dead, 50 missing and thousands homeless.

    The Emergency Situations Commission reported that the occurrence caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, destroying 10 schools, seven hospitals, 27 bridges and 112 miles of highway.

    The magnitude of the situation proved to be more than the government of Tajikistan was prepared to handle. Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon contacted the U.S. embassy to seek aid after the natural disaster struck the former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan. The message got out to the 1st TSC May 15 and the CMOC began networking with Third Army for supplies to provide aid as quickly as possible.

    Col. Michael Keller, the 1st TSC CMOC team chief, said that once the 1st TSC received the warning order, they were "wheels up" within 36 hours in a C-17 fully stocked with enough 20-man tents to house 1,300 people and a 10,000 pound all-terrain fork lift for rapid production time.

    "We were informed that one thing they could not manufacture or acquire quick enough was tents," Keller said. "The people were amazed at the high-quality military-grade tents that we brought, and then showed them how to set up the tents. They just kept saying 'I can't believe it.'"

    The first two 8,800 pound pallets that rolled out were adorned with American flags. After the Soldiers folded them up, the customs chief in the Kulyob district of Tajikistan, Jamakhon Rajabov ran up with tears in his eyes and kissed the flag. "I'm in shock that the U.S. was able to move so rapidly with such a large amount of aid," Rajabov said to Keller.

    Flash floods are an annual spring occurrence in the mountainous Central Asian nation, but the harsh effects this year were more than the people of Tajikistan had anticipated.

    "It's probably going to take them a couple years to fully recover from this," Keller said. "The intent right now was to get them a source of shelter to sustain them through the rainy season until they can find find friends and family and begin to restore their property."

    Coordination for the project ran smoothly and was a group effort among the 1st TSC and Third Army working hand-in-hand with French airmen and Tajik emergency services personnel.

    Relations between the U.S. and Tajikistan have developed significantly since 9/11. The two countries now have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in such areas as counternarcotics, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability.

    Keller said the CMOC is prepared for another mission to further aid to the allied nation should the orders be given.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.22.2010
    Date Posted: 05.22.2010 03:19
    Story ID: 50085
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 

    Web Views: 940
    Downloads: 518
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