May 28, 2006
CAMP SMITH, Hawaii — Medical personnel, equipment, and supplies from U.S. Pacific Command are being sent to Indonesia to contribute to the international humanitarian relief efforts in the wake of a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck near the ancient city of Yogyakarta.
The deployment is part of a larger U.S. government response to a request from the government of Indonesia for humanitarian assistance. Coordinated through the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Defense has committed U.S. military resources to the relief operation.
"Doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and supplies are rapidly deploying to Indonesia to support the humanitarian efforts near Yogyakarta. The goal is to reduce further loss of life and help alleviate human suffering. We offer our sincere condolences to the people of Indonesia affected by this tragedy, and will do our best to ease their suffering with available medical assets. The U.S. has strong regional ties to Indonesia, and we are a longstanding friend of the Indonesian people," said Brigadier General Dana Atkins, U.S. Pacific Command Director of Operations.
Approximately 100 personnel will deploy to Indonesia bringing surgical, shock trauma, laboratory, dental, x-ray, and preventive medicine expertise to the earthquake ravaged area. The personnel will come from the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) in Okinawa, U.S. Pacific Air Force units in Guam, and the USNS Mercy, which is currently operating in the Republic of Philippines as part of a five-month medical deployment to Southeast Asia and Western Pacific countries.
The personnel and equipment deploying from USNS Mercy will not impact her ability to continue the mission in the Philippines. The U.S. military and all organizations aboard the Mercy remain committed to providing humanitarian and civic assistance as previously planned and coordinated with the government of the Republic of the Philippines.