U.S. military forces have responded to the earthquake
disaster in Nepal and continue to develop plans to support the U.S. government
agencies making up the U.S. response to the calamity. The U.S. stands by Nepal at this sad time and
extends its condolences to all those affected.
Soon after the April 25th earthquake, the government of
Nepal, as the overall leaders organizing the response to the disaster,
requested international assistance. The
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance (OFDA) sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and two Urban
Search and Rescue (USAR) teams, which arrived via U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo
USAID also activated a Response Management Team in
Washington D.C. to help coordinate assistance at the national level. They
provided an initial $1 million, followed with another $9 million for critical
A U.S. Special Forces team was training in Nepal when the
earthquake struck; they immediately transitioned to help with the relief
efforts. The Soldiers present are
providing logistical help and medical assistance to the injured. They also helped in search and rescue
along popular trekking routes, including the Everest Base Camp, an area that
was especially affected by the earthquake.
All current and future U.S. military assistance is conducted in a
supporting role to the Armed Forces of Nepal.
The U.S. Embassy in Nepal is heading the U.S. effort, with USAID
as the lead federal agency. U.S. Pacific
Command is working closely with both to determine how the Department of Defense
(DOD) may best support the U.S. government response to this disaster.
On April 29th, a DOD Joint Humanitarian
Assessment Support Team (JHAST) with approximately 20 military personnel arrived
in Nepal. The JHAST will advise the DART on DOD capabilities and assets
available to support the Nepal earthquake response and help assess appropriate
DOD missions. Coordinated JHAST-DART assessments, with a particular focus on
airport operations at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), are
scheduled to begin April 30th.
Given its ability to respond quickly to crises around the
world, U.S. forces are ready to assist should additional requirements for
unique military support be identified. The
U.S. is in touch with Nepalese officials and other donor nations and agencies
to mobilize additional assistance if requested.
The enduring relationship between the U.S. and Nepalese
militaries and the recurring military training exchanges between the two
nations allow them to rapidly and easily work together as they conduct relief
operations in order to save lives and alleviate human suffering.