MANILA, Republic of the Philippines — Personnel and aircraft with III Marine Expeditionary Force continue to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support at the request of the government of the Republic of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha), which made landfall Dec. 4.
Yesterday, Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 152 (VMGR-152), Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF, conducted three flights and transported approximately 114,400 pounds of relief supplies consisting of high-energy biscuits and rice from the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development and tents, mats and liquid containers donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It was the single largest delivery day in terms of weight since the squadron began transporting supplies Dec. 9.
VMGR-152's aircraft arrived Dec. 8, seven hours after the Philippine government requested support. As of Dec. 13, the squadron has flown a total of 14 flights, transporting approximately 440,000 pounds of relief supplies. The supplies delivered consist of family ration packs, relief aid boxes containing personal hygiene items and clothing, high-energy biscuits, rice, generators, mosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats, tents and liquid containers.
The squadron also has transported one water purification unit, four water purification specialists, three personnel from USAID and the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development, and a United Nations World Food Programme relief module and three of their tents.
Marines continue to transport relief supplies from Villamor Air Base in Manila to Davao International Airport in Mindanao, the region most affected by the typhoon. From Davao, the supplies were principally distributed by government and nongovernmental organizations to displaced families affected by the typhoon as directed by the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Landing support specialists with 3rd Marine Logistics Group and logistics embarkation specialists with 3rd MLG and 1st MAW arrived from Okinawa Dec. 11-12 to assist the palletizing, loading and unloading of relief supplies. These Marines have worked side by side with Philippine Air Force members to efficiently prepare relief supplies for transportation to Davao.
The bilateral coordination center consists of Marines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, personnel with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Pacific Air Forces, OFDA, Joint-U.S. Military Assistance Group-Philippines and Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines. The center enables prioritization of effort and synchronizes humanitarian assistance and relief efforts, resulting in more efficient coordination and operations.
U.S. and Philippine armed forces are working shoulder to shoulder on missions to ensure relief supplies get to the main distribution hub, in order to reach those most in need. The Philippine government has led the effort to help its citizens following the typhoon.