U.S. Officials Say Commitment To Supporting Pakistan's Flood
Relief Efforts "Remains Strong"
As flood waters recede and Pakistan's aid delivery shifts focus
from air to ground transportation, the Pakistan government informed
the U.S. recently that U.S. military aircraft and other
international cargo plane airlift support was no longer required.
At Pakistan's request, the U.S. military has ended its flood relief
support using C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules aircraft
C-130 In Pakistan US Air Force Photo
"Our C-130 and C-17 aircrews were honored to partner with our
Pakistani allies in their time of need, and rapidly meet their
requests for heavy-lift assistance in support of flood relief,"
said Vice Adm. Mike LeFever, U.S. defense representative to
Pakistan. "We remain ready and prepared to support emergent
requests from the government of Pakistan, if such assistance is
needed again in the future."
Although cargo aircraft flights have ended, U.S. officials said
the commitment to supporting Pakistan's flood relief efforts
The U.S. Agency for International Development and other civilian
agencies continue to provide humanitarian assistance and recovery
assistance throughout Pakistan in support of flood victims. In
addition, U.S. military helicopter relief flights continue to
operate from Ghazi Aviation Base near Tarbela and Pano Aqil Air
Base near Sukkur, while the U.S. Air Force's contingency response
element at Pakistan Air Force Base Chaklala continues to support
the nationwide distribution of international aid to flood-affected
Two U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft conducted the last
fixed-wing missions to deliver flood relief supplies in Pakistan
Oct.3, flying humanitarian supplies from Chaklala to the Skardu
Airport in northern Pakistan. "When you look at the numbers of
folks who have been displaced by the flood, it's good to be able to
help out," said Maj. Kevin Baylis, a U.S. Air Force C-130
"We've been flying into Skardu, Ghazi and around Pakistan,
delivering humanitarian relief supplies," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew
Beresky, a U.S. Air Force loadmaster. "Normally there are about
four pallets, each weighing about 7,000 pounds, of mainly wheat and
water, any other supplies... that people need. We've airlifted
probably between 75 to 100,000 pounds a day -- roughly about 25,000
pounds per flight."
C-17 Globemaster File Photo
From the start, C-130 and C-17 aircrews made significant
contributions to Pakistan's flood relief. In addition to the
delivery of more than 436,000 halal meals during the early days of
the disaster, these aircraft and their aircrews worked in close
partnership with Pakistan's military and National Disaster
Management Authority to transport more than 5.5 million of relief
supplies to flood victims nationwide. The aircraft were also
instrumental in the evacuation of thousands of people from
flood-affected regions of Pakistan. "I would say it's definitely
significant that we were able to come up here and provide the
support ... we got a lot done," Maj. Baylis said.
"I personally feel proud as a reservist, being one of the first
to be staged here," Sergeant Beresky said. "This is what you train
for -- going to a forward-deployed location like this, flying the
missions, getting things done as you need to, and delivering the
supplies that need to be delivered."
To date, U.S. military personnel and aircraft, working in
partnership with the Pakistan military, have delivered more than
14.5 million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated more than
21,000 people throughout Pakistan's flood-affected areas.