Latest Update (Nov. 23)
U.S. Southern Command is coordinating its support of ongoing U.S. foreign disaster assistance operations in the region with USAID.
To date, U.S. Southern Command’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
Rescues of 322 victims
Delivered 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.
About the U.S. Forces Supporting Central American Relief
About 250 troops from JTF-Bravo, U.S. Army South, Special Operations Command South, and other U.S. Southern Command entities have supported missions in Colombia, Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala. The task force is using HH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to conduct aerial missions. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and the “Easyriders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 are also supporting operations. On Nov.22, a U.S. Air Force C-130, from the 317th Air Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, transported 68 Colombian Army Soldiers to the Colombian island of San Andrés to support post-Hurricane Iota lifesaving and disaster-relief operations in the nearby Colombian island of Providencia.
The mission of Joint Task Force-Bravo includes being prepared to support disaster relief operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, when directed by SOUTHCOM. JTF-B’s training and strategic location allows them to mobilize and respond to an emergency with very short notice, enabling them to rapidly respond to the needs of our partners.
U.S. military support in a foreign disaster relief effort must be requested by the host nation. Under SOUTHCOM direction, U.S. military forces support the comprehensive U.S. government disaster response approach led by U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. Department of Defense commanders are authorized to direct assigned forces at or near the immediate scene of a foreign disaster to take prompt action to save human lives.
Learn More: 4 Ways USAID is Responding to Hurricanes Iota and Eta