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Airmen support Bangladesh relief operations

13th Air Force Public Affairs

11/27/2007 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- Pacific Air Forces Airmen arrived in Bangladesh Nov. 24 and have begun to provide relief in the wake of a tropical cyclone that struck the nation's southern coast Nov. 15, which caused thousands of casualties and significant damage.

Elements of the 36th Contingency Response Group from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, arrived at Dhaka, Bangladesh, as part of the U.S. military assistance to Bangladesh's relief operations. 

The contingent, which was forward deployed to U Taphao, Thailand, Nov. 17, has established command and control and airfield operations at Dhaka. A C-130 Hercules assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing began flying relief supplies, including water, food, blankets, tents and clothes from Dhaka to Barisal, Bangladesh Nov. 26. From Barisal, relief supplies are being distributed throughout the stricken nation by Marine Corps helicopters. Currently, there are an estimated 160 short tons of relief supplies at Dhaka that are scheduled to be flown to Barisal over the next five days.

In anticipation of a higher headquarters tasking to support possible U.S. military relief operations in support of the government of Bangladesh, 36th CRG members and equipment were prepositioned at U Taphao.

After receiving the formal request for U.S. military assistance from the government of Bangladesh, PACAF officials, under the lead of 13th Air Force members, established an air shuttle between Zia International Airport in Dhaka and Barisal. One 374th AW C-130 from Yokota Air Base, Japan, is currently at Dhaka and a second 374th AW C-130 is en route with a C-130 maintenance team from Yokota AB. Additionally, two C-17 Globemaster IIIs assigned to the 15th Airlift Wing from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, have flown people, equipment and relief supplies to U Taphao and Dhaka.

The U.S. military deployment is part of a larger United States response to the government of Bangladesh's request for humanitarian assistance. This effort is coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development.

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