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USS Peleliu Sends Relief Supplies Ashore in Pakistan

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100906-06

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) R. David Valdez, USS Peleliu (LHA 5) Public Affairs

USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- Helicopters from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) began delivering humanitarian aid supplies to the government of Pakistan Sept. 6, as part of ongoing American support to provide relief to flood victims.

CH-46E "Sea Knight" and MH-60S "Sea Hawk" helicopters will move 90 pallets of relief supplies to Sharea Faisal Air Base during the course of several days.

The pallets include supplies for purifying and storing water, insect repellent, tarps, items to help control the spread of disease, as well as health and comfort packages to alleviate human suffering in the rain-soaked conditions. They will be transferred to the Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority for distribution to the people affected by the severe flooding throughout Pakistan.

"I've seen great coordination between the U.S. and Pakistani military since relief operations began almost a month ago," said Capt. Dale Fuller, commander of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group. "Delivering much-needed supplies is another way we can help our friends in need."

Since their arrival in the area, Navy and Marine Corps helicopters have worked in support of the government of Pakistan to evacuate thousands of people in flooded areas in the north, as well as deliver food and supplies with their heavy airlift capability. As of Sept. 5, U.S. military operations in support of flood relief has delivered more than 3 million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated more than 11,000 internally displaced persons.

The Navy and Marine Corps team has a unique capacity to help save lives and give the government of Pakistan support to recover from this natural disaster. The sea-based and self-sustaining nature of the amphibious assault ship is ideal to deliver relief items ashore and replenish as needed.

"Helicopters have the ability to move supplies to and from hard to reach places," said Lt. Chris McDonald, a pilot assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23. "Whether that is between two ship's decks or into a remote landing zone, we're glad to be part of the process."

Peleliu and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were dispatched to Pakistan in response to the Government of Pakistan's urgent request for flood relief assistance. They are currently executing a regularly scheduled deployment to the region in support of ongoing maritime security operations and serve as the theater reserve force for U.S. Central Command.

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