After nearly three weeks of rescue, clearing, and emergency relief flights to flooded communities and medical assistanc3e mission, US forces are now returning to the original military exercise and training mission they came to do in cooperation with the Philippine Marines.
Expressing grateful thanks for the help and issuing unit citations for all the effort was well received. The help gave the AFP a valuable asset. Now from warm bodies and aircraft – funds and rehabilitation aid which can be more directed to areas of specific need will hopefully be in the pipeline from D.C.
There is genuine gratitude for the effort made almost across all sides of Philippine politics Even stuanch anti-US critics seemed to keep silent – but the rumblings were there -But, the help extended in the relief effort which ranged from aid airlift flights to actual rescue and transport of vital supplies and personnel by US air and naval support units.
Philippines Relief Mission fact sheer:
• U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific is coordinating USPACOM’s support of the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
• Marines and Sailors of the III Marine Expeditionary Force worked alongside Armed Forces of the Philippines counterparts in metro Manila Oct. 1-9, assessing damage, delivering relief supplies, clearing roads, providing basic medical care. Approximately 20 personnel from Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF-P) provided immediate response to the initial flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Ketsana Sept. 26.
• USS Harpers Ferry and USS Tortuga arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines Oct. 3 for a scheduled exercise with Armed Forces of the Philippines and took part in the Manila relief effort.
• U.S. military assistance role in metro Manila transitioned to Armed Forces of the Philippines Oct. 8.
• USS Harpers Ferry and USS Tortuga transited to the Lingayen Gulf north of Manila Oct. 9 following a Philippine Government request for further assistance due to mudslides and floods following Typhoon Parma. The ships departed Lingayen Gulf Oct. 11 at conclusion of their support there, for follow on participation in previously scheduled exercise.
• U.S. military emergency relief efforts complete Oct. 13, as Central/Northern Luzon military effort transitioned to Armed Forces of the Philippines.
o Marine vehicles convoyed 33.5 tons of food, 2,000 sacks of clothing to Marcos Stadium in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Oct. 11.
o Marine helicopters moved 18,500 lbs of relief supplies from to Baguio in northern Luzon Oct. 11.
o Sailors and Marines provided basic care to 1,340 medical patients and 37 dental patients in Pangasinan province Also More than 5,000 lbs of relief supplies were moved from Manila to Tarlac province Oct. 10.
• Combined, more than 2,000 Marines and Sailors supported the relief effort in the Philippines.
Philippines Emergency Relief Assistance
• 39,357 food packages, 2,910 boxes of clothes, 650+ cases of water, 1,000 blankets delivered
• 8,850 individuals received basic medical services; 357 received dental services
• Aircraft flew 86 sorties for assessments and cargo deliveries totaling 61,200 lbs
The Armed Forces of the Philippine feels overall that the urgent need per the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
"The emegency is past and the national government and armed forces and also LGU’s, Civic local and international organizations, also the UN. as well as international aid efforts are now taking the lead." per a armed forces spokesman in Manila.
Overall the mission has been well recieved. US forces were in several areas in the country where they were under threat from local terrorist groups and rebels who have put American troops and government workers as ‘targets of opportunity.’