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AF sends aircraft to support disaster-assistance operations in Nepal

Service members load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake into a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at March Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2015. The U.S. Agency of International Development's relief cargo included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Queen)

Service members load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake into a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at March Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2015. The U.S. Agency of International Development's relief cargo included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Queen)

Service members load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake into a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at March Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2015. The U.S. Agency of International Development's relief cargo included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Queen)

Service members load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake into a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at March Air Force Base, Calif., April 26, 2015. The U.S. Agency of International Development's relief cargo included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Queen)

Bill Kennedy marshals a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 26, 2015. The aircraft was loaded with 69 members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team, their supplies and equipment, and six K-9s, to assist Nepal with rescue operations after the country was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Kennedy is assigned to the 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron transit alert section. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

Bill Kennedy marshals a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 26, 2015. The aircraft was loaded with 69 members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team, their supplies and equipment, and six K-9s, to assist Nepal with rescue operations after the country was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Kennedy is assigned to the 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron transit alert section. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The U.S. has sent an Air Force aircraft to Nepal to deliver personnel and cargo in support of disaster-relief operations, according to Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren.

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit the country yesterday, reportedly leaving almost 2,500 dead, about 6,000 injured and thousands more still missing. In addition, thousands of people are currently reported to be without food, water or shelter.

"This morning at approximately 11:18 a.m., a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster (III) departed from Dover Air Force Base bound for Nepal," Warren said in a statement released April 26. "The aircraft is transporting nearly 70 personnel, including a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team, the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team and several journalists, along with 45 square tons of cargo."

The flight is expected to arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 27, according to Warren.

The initial estimated cost for the U.S. Defense Department's support is approximately $700,000, and there are currently no additional requests for DOD support, officials said on background.

There are 26 DOD personnel and one U.S. C-130 Hercules in Nepal who were there to conduct a previously scheduled training exercise. All DOD personnel in Nepal are accounted for, officials said.

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