MIAMI, Aug. 17 A joint U.S. military mobilesurgical team from Joint Task Force Bravo, based at Soto Cano Air Base inHonduras, will deploy to Peru today as part of U.S. Southern Command'sresponse to an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the South American nationAug. 15.
The deployment follows a disaster declaration issued Thursday by U.S.Ambassador to Peru, Peter Michael McKinley.
The 30-man, U.S. Army and Air Force surgical team, will include a generalsurgeon, anesthesiologist, general practitioner, physician's assistant, nursesand medical technicians and will partner with the U.S. Embassy, as well asPeruvian defense and health officials to provide specialized medical servicesto area residents.
"We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Peru and thefamilies affected by this tragic earthquake," said Admiral James Stavridis,commander of U.S. Southern Command. "Anytime there is disaster of thismagnitude, there is dramatic increase in the medical needs of thosecommunities affected. As a partner nation and close friend of Peru, we standready to assist with those resources and capabilities at our disposal."
The surgical team will be airlifted to Peru by a U.S. Air Force C-130 fromthe 156th Airlift Wing based in Puerto Rico.
U.S. Southern Command military planners continue to work with interagencypartners and Peruvian counterparts to assess recovery needs in the affectedareas and identify additional U.S. military units that may be able to provideassistance.
JTF-Bravo, the only U.S. Southern Command component with permanentlyassigned U.S. military personnel, is a first responder to crises in theregion, and routinely conducts humanitarian assistance, disaster relief,search and rescue, personnel recover and non-combatant medical evacuationoperations.
More information about JTF-Bravo is available athttp://www.12af.acc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7688.Information about U.S. Southern Command is also available at www.southcom.mil.
SOURCE U.S. Southern Command