U.S. assists with Turkish earthquake relief

  • Published
  • By Capt. William Russell
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
U.S. Air Forces in Europe sent a C-130J Super Hercules loaded with arctic relief supplies to south-eastern Turkey on Nov. 13 to aid victims of recent earthquakes there.

The Van region of Turkey is coping with the aftereffects of two earthquakes: a magnitude 7.2 quake that occurred Oct. 23 and a magnitude 5.7 tremor that occurred Nov. 9.

"First and foremost, our condolences go out to the people of Turkey affected by these natural disasters," said Capt. Bryan Swierenga, an aircraft commander with the 37th Airlift Squadron. "Turkey is a resilient country and the government will put these humanitarian supplies to good use."

The C-130J is assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing's 37th AS at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As the air component for U.S. European Command, USAFE, which is also headquartered at Ramstein AB, delivered more than 28,000 pounds of supplies to the region. These included 115 arctic tents, heaters and empty fuel canisters.

The relief supplies were provided by the Norwegian Defense Logistic Organization and Norwegian Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Stjordal, Norway.

"It is always a great feeling to help out one of our allies," said Capt. Austin Rust, a pilot with the 37th AS. "It has been a cooperative effort from the start with the State Department and EUCOM taking charge by delivering these cold weather supplies to the government of Turkey as they lead the relief efforts after two major earthquakes."

The U.S. State Department working with the U.S. Embassy in Turkey and EUCOM through the U.S. Department of Defense responded by delivering humanitarian supplies to support the Turkey-led relief efforts.