Hagel directs military to help Philippine relief effort

Posted by James Rosen on November 10, 2013 

The U.S. Navy delivers emergency aid to the Philippines in 2008 after Typhoon Fengshen. Working together a soldier from the Philippine Army and Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Chavez move relief supplies to a school on the Island of Panay on July 1, 2008. A member of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4, Chavez has been flying humanitarian missions into the island in the wake of Typhoon Fengshen. At the request of the government of the Republic of the Philippines, the USS Ronald Reagan is off the coast of Panay Island providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Ronald Reagan is operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility to support maritime security operations. DoD photo by Senior Chief Spike Call, U.S. Navy. (Released)

CHIEF PETTY OFFICER SPIKE CALL — Senior Chief Mass Communication


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed the U.S. Pacific Command to support U.S. humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines after one of the most powerful storms ever devastated the island nation.

Hagel dispatched American ships and planes at the request of the Philippine government, which now faces a months-long recovery from Typhoon Haiyan.

At least 10,000 people were feared dead from the storm that struck Friday with 150 mph winds and 40-foot waves.

"The initial focus includes surface maritime search and rescue, medium-heavy helicopter lift support, airborne maritime search and rescue, fixed wing lift support and logistics enablers," said Navy Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

The Pentagon is coordinating its work with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

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