U.S. Special Forces Will Help With Nepal Earthquake Recovery
Nearly 70 rescue personnel and 45 tons of cargo will be sent to help with earthquake recovery.
The Pentagon has ordered two teams of U.S. Army special forces soldiers that had been on a training mission in Nepal to help with recovery efforts for the deadly earthquake this weekend that’s claimed at least 3,900 lives so far. The U.S. troops join a massive search-and-rescue mission that already includes personnel from more than a dozen countries —including n early all of Nepal’s own Army, which numbers some 100,000 troops, a Defense Department spokesman said Monday.
Some of the 26 Green Berets already in Nepal will help build tents for displaced locals in central Kathmandu, the country’s capital city, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday. The remaining U.S. special forces will use their medical expertise to help the Nepalese Army treat the wounded, which number more than 7,000, according to the latest count from local officials.
One of those two teams of special forces troops has been specially trained to operate in mountainous conditions, a military official told Defense One. And some of those Green Berets are helping with search efforts along a number of popular trekking routes, including the Everest Base Camp route, where some 200 climbers have been rescued after the quake set off a series of avalanches over the weekend.
A U.S. Airman marshals a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 26, 2015. The aircraft is loaded with 69 members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team, their supplies and equipment, and six K-9s, to assist Nepal with rescue operations after the country was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Johnson)
Nearly 70 rescue personnel, mostly from civilian teams, and 45 tons of cargo also departed Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base for Nepal’s capital on Sunday and should arrive Monday evening. Another roughly 50 personnel departed California’s March Air Reserve Base aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane to the region early Monday and are expected to arrive the following day.
The two flights will carry more than a dozen disaster relief personnel from USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, and more than 100 urban search-and-rescue teams from Los Angeles and Virginia’s Fairfax County—along with a total of almost a dozen search dogs—to the Nepalese capital.
U.S. Air Force personnel load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake into a USAF C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at March Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2015. The U.S. Agency of International Development relief cargo included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor Queen)
Two additional U.S. military personnel were also already in Nepal for a two-day workshop with local officials have—like the Green Berets—also been re-tasked to help with the recovery efforts, Warren said.
On Monday, State Secretary John Kerry said the U.S. will provide an extra $9 million in aid to help Nepal respond to what’s become its most dangerous quake in more than 80 years. Kerry’s pledge Monday comes on top of the $1 million Washington already committed over the weekend.
Jennifer Massey, Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue K-9 search specialist, Fairfax, Va., and her K-9, Phayu, board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 26, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Johnson)