FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates (NNS) -- A Navy C-130 from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 64 of Willow Grove, Pa., delivered more than 12,000 pounds of blankets and toys donated by the United Arab Emirates to Islamabad, Pakistan Nov. 2.
VR-64 is currently deployed to Bahrain in support of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) humanitarian aid mission.
Cmdr. Chris Thomson, who arrived in Bahrain Oct. 31 to serve as officer in charge of Commander, Task Force 53 VR Detachment, said with winter approaching in Pakistan, his crew was asked to make a special trip to Fujairah to pick up the cargo.
"Yesterday, we were talking to some logistics folks and they said there was a lot of cargo here going to Islamabad," Thomson, from Boston, Mass., said. "They asked us if we could work it time-wise."
The Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) in Islamabad, Pakistan has offloaded nearly 4 million pounds of humanitarian aid since the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the region Oct. 8. NAVCENT has used ships, helicopters and cargo planes deployed to the region in support of maritime security operations to deliver the approximately 207 tons of donated food, supplies and machinery from international aid agencies and coalition countries to earthquake victims in Pakistan. Nearly 50 of these deliveries have been courtesy of Navy C-130s.
Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Adamson, an aircraft commander and VR-64's operations officer, said in recent weeks his squadron has offloaded blankets, mattresses and generic supplies.
"It's a great mission," Adamson, from Riverside, Calif. said. "This is where you actually feel like you're being involved in a lot of good stuff."
The most recent delivery of blankets comes as the winter months threaten the survival of Pakistan's earthquake victims due to lack of shelter, food and water.
"Temperatures are already dipping below freezing in some areas of Pakistan's mountainous north, and the weather is expected to worsen in coming weeks, cutting off remote valleys where some 800,000 are believed to lack any shelter," reports the Pakistani daily Frontier Post.
Loadmaster Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Antonio Smith said Americans should understand the importance of helping disaster victims after having been struck by hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
"We know what it's like to have a city destroyed," Smith, from Rochester, N.Y. said.
For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.