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2013 Press and Photo Releases


CAMP AGUINALDO, Manila – Effective Dec. 1 U.S. Pacific Command has disestablished Joint Task Force (JTF) 505, which provided support to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and national and international aid organizations during relief efforts in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

  U.S. military forces provided crucial early relief support with unique capabilities, including fixed wing and tilt rotor aircraft delivering supplies to remote areas, damage surveys, food, water production and movement of displaced persons.

  "The U.S. Pacific Command was among the first to come and help in a time of great need for us.  Thus, we are very thankful for their all-out and generous support to our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations," CJTF Yolanda commander and AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Alan R. Luga said.

  "As we sustain our relief efforts and put emphasis on the early recovery of affected communities, the AFP will continue its work with the MNCC (Multinational Coordination Center) as we expect continued multi-national Bayanihan [cooperative efforts] in support to our engineering, reconstruction and medical operations for our affected civilians," Luga said.

  Lt. Gen. Luga also stressed that Operation Damayan is just one of the many benefits of the long-time friendship and partnership between the United States Armed Forces and the AFP and was "an example of the assistance and cooperation that exists between the U.S. and the Philippines for mutual security."

  Working in support of the GRP and AFP was key to providing aid to the communities affected by the typhoon, said Lt. Gen. Wissler, JTF 505 commander.

  "One of the keys to successfully employing the unique capabilities of the U.S. military was the close coordination with our Philippine partners," said Wissler. "They coordinated the tremendous international support and directed the right assets to where they were needed most.”

  At its peak, the U.S. military efforts included more than 13,400 military personnel, 66 aircraft and 12 naval vessels.  It delivered more than 2,495 tons of relief supplies and evacuated over 21,000 people.  Over 1,300 flights were completed in support of the relief efforts for Operation Damayan delivering to approximately 450 sites.

  Since the typhoon, ground delivery conditions have improved significantly, with road access to most areas available. Multiple relief organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, are on the ground to support the transition from relief efforts to recovery.  These various support organizations, working in concert with the GRP and AFP, will continue to aid the people of the Philippines now that the unique capabilities of the U.S. military are no longer required.

  A small U.S. military contingent will remain in the Philippines beyond Dec. 1 to support the final retrograde and redeployment of the last elements of JTF 505.