JTF-536 STANDS UP IN ASIA
The US military has created and staffed Joint Task Force 536 in SE Asia, which includes 600 personnel on shore and 11500 afloat. Their mission will be humanitarain relief in tsunami-affected areas and they will use past such efforts, especially Operation Sea Angel in Bangladesh as a template. It appears that there are US Support Groups in place in several countries, and these are shifting from a disaster relief assessment role to one of providing relief. Each USSG is headed by a one-star flag officer. The overall JTF is headed by the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, LtGen Rusty Blackman. The fact that a 3-star general is in charge means: a. the US participation will be large b. expected coalition participation will also be large. c. the US is placing enormous emphasis on this task. More can be found on the US Pacific Command website. We'll cover this as best we can here at The Adventures of Chester. It looks like the major media is giving it scant attention.