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Helos ‘Critical Assets’ in Hurricane Relief

By S.L. Fuller | November 1, 2016

A South Carolina National Guard’s CH-47F Chinook delivers water and food supplies to Hurricane Matthew victims in the state.

In Haiti, the government expects the death toll to continue to climb and said that well more than 1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The devastation left by Hurricane Matthew is requiring help from all places, as the U.N., USAID, the U.S. military and others are sending aid from abroad and putting boots on the ground.

During a mission on Oct. 10 in Port-au-Prince, members of the U.S. military loaded supplies onto a Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion. On Oct. 13, troops at Port-au-Prince loaded bags of rice onto an Army Boeing CH-47F Chinook. Though the storm may be gone, supplies like food, cholera treatment supplies and hospital equipment are needed to keep survivors alive.

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U.S. helicopters have been flying anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 pounds of food and medical supplies to Haiti every day for almost a week. The USS Iwo Jima recently arrived to relieve the USS Mesa Verde as a mobile helicopter base after the latter had been stationed there since the beginning of the month. It’s expected the relief effort will carry on for quite some time, as the U.N. recently extended its Haitian peacekeeping mission for another six months.

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