The United States military has deployed its forces to aid in the relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Turkey. The Navy has taken command of the mission, with a top-ranking Marine Corps general dispatched to the affected region to assess the situation and determine the needed support. Moreover, the U.S. military forces come as a show of solidarity and support for the people of Turkey, who have been grappling with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
The US military has commenced its deployment to offer support in the wake of the earthquake in Turkey, according to official statements on Friday. A Navy headquarters is managing the operation and a Marine Corps general is present to determine the required level of assistance. pic.twitter.com/MxQ52eNBS7
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The U.S. military has a long history of providing support during natural disasters, both at home and abroad, and this deployment is a testament to their devotion to helping those in need. With the military’s expertise and resources, they are well-positioned to provide crucial support to bring aid and relief to those affected. Additionally, the Turkish people can rest assured that the U.S. military will do all it can to assist in the relief mission and help bring a semblance of normalcy back to the region.
U.S. Troops Arrive at Incirlik Air Base
Brigadier General Andrew Priddy, a European naval task force leader, arrived at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Thursday. A team from the U.S. European Commission headquarters in Germany joined the airbase, which is used by the United States military and is located approximately 120 miles west of the earthquake’s epicenter. The American troops will provide aid in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development upon the request of the Turkish government.
General Christopher Cavoli, the head of European Command, stated that U.S. forces are already actively involved in search and rescue operations and offering medical aid and other forms of support. Christopher made a statement acknowledging the involvement of U.S. forces in the ongoing search and rescue operations. He referred to the earthquake as a catastrophic disaster. Furthermore, the general considered the earthquake an immense disaster beyond measure.
As the death toll from the earthquake continues to rise past 24,000, the disaster-response mission of the military has increased, as previously reported by the BBC. The earthquakes have devastated numerous buildings in the southern region of Turkey and the northern region of Syria, leaving thousands of people injured and homeless. At the same time, the harsh winter weather has only added to the misery those affected face.
U.N. Aid Efforts in Earthquake-stricken Region Hindered by Structure and Conflict
The United Nations has deployed aid teams to the affected area, but their efforts have been obstructed by the damaged infrastructure and ongoing conflict in Syria, which has caused division in the country. It is unclear how the military can assist in Syria, where the U.S. has limited counterterrorism operations in the northeast. General Michael Kurilla, the top U.S. military official overseeing activities in the region, stated in a Wednesday statement that his headquarters had established a team to extend support to those affected in both countries.
Different Commands Oversee U.S. Military Operations in Turkey and Syria
As a NATO ally, Turkey has a more developed relationship with the U.S., although it has experienced some tension in the past. While Turkey and Syria share a border, the U.S. military missions in Turkey fall under the jurisdiction of European Command, while Central Command is responsible for operations in Syria. Colonel Joe Buccino, a spokesman for General Kurilla, stated on Friday that Central Command is doing everything it can to prepare for providing support to those in need in either Turkey or northern Syria. General Kurilla and his team are communicating with European Command, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group based in northern Syria that the U.S. has partnered with in the fight against the Islamic State.
The Department of Defense has yet to disclose the specific American military units that may be called to assist on the ground. An anonymous U.S. military official stated that there has not yet been a significant request for personnel. However, one common option for handling humanitarian crises, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, currently needs to be made available due to a gap in rotations by senior commanders at the Pentagon. According to officials, these units, consisting of approximately 2,200 Marines absentee ships, are absent in Europe due to a shortage of vessels deemed ready for deployment.
Marine Corps Aid Unit Shortage Hinders Earthquake Relief Effort
A Marine Corps expeditionary unit, typically deployed in response to humanitarian crises, has posed a problem in providing aid to the earthquake-stricken region. According to an anonymous military official, there has not yet been a significant request for personnel. A gap in rotations of these units in the region has caused a shortage, as the U.S. military currently lacks enough ships that are considered ready for deployment. In the meantime, the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, along with its accompanying ships, arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea quickly upon receiving orders on Tuesday and is prepared to offer logistical support, including medical and helicopter assistance.