Pacific Air Forces has directed two teams to support humanitarian operations in the Philippines, following the destructive path of Typhoon Haiyan on the island nation. Maj. Jillian Torango, PACAF spokeswoman, told the Daily Report a four-member advance team from the 36th Contingency Response Group, at Andersen AFB, Guam, has forward-deployed to Villamor Air Base in Luzon, Philippines. The 36th CRG is a rapid-deployment unit designed to secure and prepare an area to establish a base for expeditionary air and space forces. The second team, a three-member air component coordination element team, deployed to Manila, the nation’s capital, Torango said. The ACCE will assist in planning air component requirements. US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, is coordinating all Defense Department relief efforts, with assets already on the scene, she added. According to a Pentagon release, 129,000 pounds of relief supplies has been distributed as of Nov. 12, “and hundreds of displaced persons” have been relocated to Manila. The Air Force also has activated an accountability and assessment system to monitor the status and location of airmen and their families who may be affected by the typhoon, announced Air Force Personnel Center officials on Nov. 13. (See also US Military Mobilizes for Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts) (DOD release on other US military relief efforts)
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.