Pakistani, US, WFP officials mark end of Marine Corps Flood Mission
ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (APP): Pakistan, United States and World Food Programme Wednesday completed the Marine Corps Flood Mission in Pakistan’s flood affected areas, said a statement issued by American embassy.A special ceremony was held at Pano Aqil, where Chairman Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority Lt. Gen. (Retd) Nadeem Ahmed, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mike LeFever, Defense Representative to Pakistan Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Nasrullah Tahir Dogar, Pakistan Army’s 16 Division Commander along with Philippe Martou, Chief of Aviation for the World Food Program, gave thanks and bid farewell to the humanitarian airlift team at Pano Aqil.Pakistan Army’s 16th Division, the U.S. 26th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units, and the World Food Programme participated in this Flood Mission.
The team provided emergency humanitarian airlift via U.S. Marine helicopters since Sept. 3, delivering urgently needed relief supplies across flood-torn southern Pakistan.
With the waters receding and road transportation becoming viable again, the Government of Pakistan advised the U.S. Marine Corps that their mission was concluded; their last flight was on Nov. 3.
“The job is not yet over, but largely the lead part is coming to an end,” said General Nadeem of the transition from urgent humanitarian airlift to follow-on recovery and reconstruction projects.
“Here at Pano Aqil, on the 235th birthday of the US Marine Corps, we mark the occasion of a mission well done by a combined team of tireless first responders,” said Admiral LeFever.
He said, “This extraordinary team worked around the clock to deliver nearly 4 million pounds of relief supplies [approximately 1.8 million kilograms] to about 150 locations in the Sindh Province.”
General Nasrullah, noting the gratitude of Pakistanis affected by the flood said, “The operation made the difference between life and death for many people totally surrounded by water who could not be reached by any other way.”
Although U.S. military helicopter operations in southern Pakistan have concluded, it will continue to provide helicopter support at Ghazi Aviation Base, at Pakistan’s request.