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U.S. Navy Transports Bahraini Relief Aid to Earthquake Victims in Pakistan

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051023-01
Release Date: 10/23/2005 6:34:00 PM

By Photographer's Mate 2nd Class(AW/SW) Carolla Bennett, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- A Navy C-130 transport aircraft took food, blankets, tents, and mattress donated by the Bahrain Red Crescent Society to earthquake victims in Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 22.

Deputy Prime Minister and Islamic Affairs Minister Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalid Al Khalifa said the Bahrain Red Crescent Society donated nearly eight tons of essential supplies on behalf of the Bahraini people.

“This aid to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan is in response to His Majesty King Hamad’s orders,” said Shaikh Abdulla. “He tasked the Bahrain Red Crescent Society to do it in the name of the people of Bahrain.”

Standing in front of pallets draped with the Bahraini national flag, Shaikh Abdulla prayed for blessings on those affected by the devastating earthquake.

“I ask God to bless the spirits of the dead and heal those wounded and sick in Pakistan,” Shaikh Abdulla said.

Bahrain, like the United States, is sending relief supplies as quickly as possible to Pakistan’s suffering population. Shaikh Abdulla said since the deadly earthquake that hit the region Oct. 8, Bahrain has sent a total of 85 tons of aid to Pakistan. On Oct. 18, he said, two privately contracted airplanes flew to Islamabad.

However, with millions still without food, clothing or shelter, and winter closing in on the region, the Bahrain government asked the Navy to help them transport supplies quickly via a military airlift.

Rear Adm. Michael Lefever is leading the Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) in Islamabad, where U.S. military relief efforts are coordinated. U.S. forces have employed several methods, including amphibious transport dock ships, helicopters and cargo planes to get supplies quickly to people in need.

“I think it’s a good mission helping people in need,” said Aviation Ordanceman 1st Class Jeff Askins, one of the air crew accompanying the cargo. “It’s a tragic thing that happened. I’m just glad we can help.”

This is one of many missions for this C-130 crew. "It’s a meaningful mission,” said Cmdr. Andy Lee, co-pilot of the C-130 aircraft. “It’s great to do what we are trained to do, helping people out. The world is responding, and we’re grateful to be part of it.”

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