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Operation Provide Hope

Operation Provide Hope, coordinated by U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, is a continuing humanitarian operation to provide excess medical equipment to the former Soviet republics during their transition to democratic and free market states.

Sixty-five C-5 and C-141 missions flew 2,363 tons of food and medical supplies to 24 locations in the Commonwealth of Independent States during Operation Provide Hope I. USAFE established three project teams (Rhein-Main AB, Germany, and Ankara and Incirlik ABs, Turkey) to support the operation.

Operation Provide Hope II, a long-term effort to aid cities in the former Soviet Union, began. Sea and land transport were the primary means of shipping excess food stocks from Luxembourg and Pisa, Italy, and excess medical stocks from Pirmasens, Germany. Airlift missions began on 24 April to deliver relief supplies where surface transportation was impractical (Minsk, for example). By the end of the operation, US European Command transferred a total of 25,000 short tons of food and medicine from European stockpiles to 33 cities in the former Soviet Union, most of it by commercial freight.

USAFE shipped and helped install hospital equipment at Minsk, Belarus, under Operation Provide Hope IV. Medical technicians from the 608th Contingency Hospital, RAF Upwood, UK, conducted a site survey and technical assessment in January; inventoried, packed, and shipped the materiel to Minsk in February; and installed the equipment and provided technical training and assistance during July and August. Supporting Provide Hope IV, 41 US Army, Air Force, and Navy medical technicians delivered and installed medical equipment and supplies at two cities in Moldova. The team installed materiel worth $10 million -- enough to support a 602-bed hospital -- at 10 facilities in Chisinau and two in Beltsi, then trained Moldovan medical personnel to use and maintain the equipment. The 86th Medical Group, Ramstein AB, Germany, provided the Air Force contingent. Forty-three US Army, Air Force, and Navy technicians installed $12.5 million of supplies and equipment (equivalent to an 800-bed field hospital) in six medical facilities at Almaty, Kazakhstan

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