Air National Guardsmen from Hawaii’s 154th Wing at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, were scheduled to fly two C-17s carrying about 90 Hawaii National Guard members and emergency relief supplies to American Samoa Wednesday after the US possession was ravaged Tuesday by a magnitude-8.3 earthquake and destructive tsunami with 15-foot waves that wiped out entire villages. Onboard the aircraft were expected to be personnel from the state’s civil support team and disaster-response units who will perform search and rescue missions, medical triage and treatment, command and control functions, and help to contain hazardous materials. The US military also dispatched the frigate USS Ingraham (FFG-61), home ported at Everett, Wash., to American Samoa to support the rescue and relief efforts. (NGB report by Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke) (See also AFNS report by Donna Miles and Navy Lt. j.g. Theresa Donnelly)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.