Operation Unified Assistance
Operation Unified Assistance is the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia on 26 December 2004. Some 20 U.S. naval vessels are in the region and 85 U.S. military aircraft are working to deliver supplies to the survivors.
By Jan. 5, 2005 US servicemembers had delivered more than 610,000 pounds of relief supplies to the region. In the previous 24 hours, U.S. helicopters delivered 5,560 pounds of water, 142,940 pounds of food and 2,100 pounds of supplies.
Helicopters assigned to Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) and Sailors from Abraham Lincoln conducted humanitarian operations in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the Indian Ocean off the waters of Indonesia and Thailand.
The US military is providing logistical support and responding to requests for assistance from Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, he said. Other countries such as Japan, New Zealand, France, Germany, China, Australia, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore and the United Kingdom have contributed medical teams, field hospitals, engineers, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters among other critical assets. Multinational cooperation continues to grow, and now the United Nations has joined to coordinate the massive undertaking.
The first US ship arrived from Northeast Asia January 5, another on January 6, and more will be steaming into the area in following days. Beginning Jan. 6, six maritime pre-positioning ships began arriving in the region. These ships carry supplies and a built-in capacity for making and pumping fresh water. The US Navy's floating hospital ship, the USS Mercy, might be used to house personnel working for nongovernmental organizations and government agencies while they are carrying out humanitarian relief assignments.
U.S. Army, Pacific is providing a variety of specialists to U.S. Pacific Command including crisis planners, both in Hawaii and in Thailand. Forces Command is deploying 4 mortuary affairs teams from Fort Lee, VA. The teams provide tailored disaster response for mass casualty incidents anywhere in the world and will help with, identification, processing, and evacuation of deceased.
8th U.S. Army in Korea is deploying medical and logistics units, including CH-47 Chinook helicopters. These units will provide medical treatment, evacuation and supply distribution capabilities.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is deploying three Forward Engineering Support Teams, from Japan, Alaska and Little Rock, Arkansas. Each FEST consist of: 1 military team leader, 1 Civil Engineer, 1 Structural Engineer, 1 Geo-technical Engineer, and two electric power generation engineers. These teams will assist with infrastructure assessment and reconstruction planning.
US Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, NC is deploying 3 civil affairs teams and 1 Psychological Operations assessment team. The CA teams consist of one planning team and two CA teams for coordinating relief efforts. The PSYOP assessment team with its broadcast and production capabilities will focus on information distribution in concert with local officials and relief organizations in the region.
SUPPORT TO DATE (As of 11 January 2005) :
:There are 15,156 U.S. Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard service members involved in providing relief support.