January 6th Pacific Command Update
Today's update has been published on the PACOM site. Highlights: 1. International contributions: "I want to start with international cooperation this morning. The current multinational support efforts are considerable and significant. Currently 12 other countries -- to include Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, New Zealand, France, India, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, China and the United Kingdom -- are contributing anywhere in the neighborhood of 46 fixed wing aircraft, 56 helicopters, and 36 naval vessels. Additionally, 18 medical teams, one logistic team, and a couple of engineering teams are either en-route or there." 2. Great story: "A hospital in the vicinity of Banda Aceh was without power. That facility's power was provided by a diesel generator. Mechanics from the USS Abraham Lincoln flew ashore and joined with the other mechanics from four to five other countries to make an assessment of the problem and send a repair list, if you will, back to Lincoln. The parts that were needed were in fact built on Lincoln and sent back out to the hospital facility and that diesel generator was up and operating within hours." 3. Some of the Maritime Prepositioning Ships are on station and providing drinking water near the Straits of Malacca. 4. No word yet on the staffing of the USNS Mercy with NGO or other civilian personnel. Planning is continuous. 5. The airspaces above affected areas, much of it primitive from an air traffic control point of view, are being organized and this has increased the capacity for aid flights, especially at night. 6. A logistics conundrum: "There are folks on the ground that are making an assessment to contract aircraft out, to move stuff from some -- I mentioned 12 and 13 countries involved, but some 40 or 50 countries all over the world actually have come forward with some sort of assistance. So how do you move that? Is the U.S. military the best way or is contract the best way, et cetera? Not all of this assistance is military assistance." This is an interesting question of strategic lift vs. speed of contracted lift. Tough decisions to make there, we think.