Statement by the Secretary General on enhanced NATO...

October 22nd, 2005  

Topic: Statement by the Secretary General on enhanced NATO...

I consider this good news using military capabilities helping out in the event of nature disasters.

Source: NATO official webpages - press release

Statement by the Secretary General on enhanced NATO assistance for Pakistan

Today, the Alliance has decided to enhance its assistance to Pakistan , in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

NATO has, from the beginning, been doing what we can to help Pakistan deal with this disaster, as part of the overall international effort.

We have set up a major strategic airlift operation of relief supplies to Pakistan – something unprecedented in NATO’s history.

This airlift is taking over one thousand tons of relief supplies to Pakistan , provided by UNHCR, NATO nations and other countries as well.

The airlift began last week, and is well under way, using NATO 707s, an Antonov carrying a UNHCR base camp, and C-130 transport aircraft from Incirlik, which have moved 75 tons already, with more constantly on the way; 2 C-130 flights are expected to land today. 12 C-17 flights are to begin as soon as possible from the two NATO airfields in Germany and Turkey .

Pakistan needs more help. And today, NATO agreed to do more, as part of the overall international effort, by deploying a land element as well.

NATO will deploy a battalion of engineers, with equipment, to help clear roads and set up facilities. We will send a mobile, multinational medical unit, to supplement the UN hospitals there. We will also send a deployable headquarters, which will, as part of its duties, help the UN with planning, command and control and logistics for this massive effort the UN is leading.

NATO will also send 3 water purification plants, to help meet that pressing need as well.

A number of helicopters will be added to the approximately 40 already in theatre from NATO nations.

This is the second element of NATO support, alongside the airlift of relief supplies. The Alliance will also consider a sea lift operation, if necessary, to take oversized goods and equipment.

All of this is being done in response to the request from the Government of Pakistan.