US Air Force Transports Colombian Troops Supporting Hurricane Relief
By U.S. Southern Command November 24, 2020
A U.S. Air Force C-130 transported 68 Colombian Army soldiers to the Colombian island of San Andrés on November 23, to support post-Hurricane Iota lifesaving and disaster-relief operations in the nearby Colombian island of Providencia.
The plane transported the troops from Cartagena, Colombia, along with 40,000 pounds of food and water.
The C-130, from the 317th Air Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, complements U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) ongoing support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-led foreign disaster assistance to countries impacted by a succession of devastating hurricanes.
Hurricane Iota caused significant damage in San Andrés Island and Providencia. In response, Colombian authorities declared a disaster and requested U.S. assistance via the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá.
USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the U.S. government’s response efforts, and responded immediately with monetary support and disaster relief supplies. In support of USAID, SOUTHCOM is transporting relief supplies to hard-hit areas in Honduras and Guatemala.
San Andrés and Providencia are located more than 140 miles southeast of Puerto Cabezas, a Nicaraguan port city in the Central American country’s Caribbean coast.
SOUTHCOM is coordinating its support of ongoing U.S. foreign disaster assistance operations in the region with USAID.
To date, SOUTHCOM’s Joint Task Force Bravo, based at Honduras’ Palmerola Air Base, has conducted 148 rescue and relief-support missions in areas devastated by hurricanes Eta and Iota, rescuing 322 victims and delivering more than 640,000 pounds of disaster relief supplies, an amount equivalent to the combined weight of 25 conventional school buses.
As committed partners in a whole of government approach, these efforts complement the $17 million in humanitarian assistance allocated to USAID for relief efforts in response to hurricanes Eta and Iota.