PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- When disaster strikes at home, who answers the call to clean up and rebuild? Immediately after a destructive storm, U.S. Army Reserve forces in American Samoa took immediate action.
In concert and coordination with various federal, state, local, interagency, and non-governmental organization partners, U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers transported Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross relief supplies and equipment to support their fellow citizens following the destructive path of Tropical Cyclone Gita across the island of American Samoa Feb 11-16.
Over 300 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers currently reside and work in American Samoa.
"We are part of this community. We are members of the community and it is ours to protect," Lt. Col. Clinton C. Seybold, commander of the U.S. Army Reserve American Samoa Detachment said. "We are very proud to be here to help the American people and the people of American Samoa are American people."
The U.S. Army Reserve is additionally providing its Pago Pago facility as a staging base for Federal agencies to operate out of as they conduct their recovery operations.
"Our facility is being used as a staging area, it's very convenient for federal assets," he said. "It has been designated the federal team staging facility for the military personnel part of the federal response they come check in with us and if need be we house them."
An emergency declaration was made by Governor of the U.S. territory of American Samoa Lolo Matalasi Moliga and approved by President Donald Trump allowing aid to be distributed to the island territory.
As the island rebuilds, American Samoa's Army Reserve Soldiers will continue to work providing capabilities that support their communities, families, and neighbors.
"We are here to answer the call wherever we are needed," Seybold said. "It just so happened this time we were needed at home."