WASHINGTON, November 26, 2013 – The Department of Defense has transitioned to the next phase of recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan, DOD spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren said today.
Warren provided Pentagon reporters an update on U.S. military assisted humanitarian aid and disaster relief, known as Operation Damayan, in the Philippines based on the recommendations of Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, commander of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force and Joint Task Force 505.
“Yesterday … Lt. Gen. Whistler declared Operation Damayan as officially moved to Phase 4, which is transition,” Warren said.
Initially, Warren said, the general recommended that JTF 505, which was stood up to provide command and control over relief efforts, stand down on or about Dec. 1.
Warren also described the extent of relief support provided by the U.S. military to the government of the Philippines.
“We’ve delivered more than four million pounds of relief supplies and equipment, which was provided by [the U.S. Agency for International Development] primarily,” he said.
Additionally, Warren said, the U.S. military logged nearly 2,000 flight hours, conducted 1,000 flights, and moved 2,000 relief workers into Tacloban City.
“The Department of Defense, [through the military] has airlifted nearly 20,000 survivors from the affected areas to date,” he said.
Despite the transition, Warren noted the department continues to provide assistance to the typhoon-stricken Philippines.
“The USS Freedom delivered 11 pallets of supplies to Tacloban yesterday,” he said.