(www.airmedandrescue.com) - At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in co-ordination with the US Mission to Somalia and US Africa Command, a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft departed from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, loaded with medical and recovery supplies in response to the terrorist attacks that killed and injured hundreds in Mogadishu on 14 October, said the US Air Force (USAF). Less than 48 hours after receiving official reports of massive truck bomb detonation that killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds more, CJTF-HOA began sending provisions to Somalia’s capital city.
“Sunday afternoon, we started receiving reports from the military liaisons who work for the [US] Department of State in Mogadishu, saying that there was a large explosion in Mogadishu,” said US Navy Cmdr Peter Brereton, CJTF-HOA Operations Directorate, director of current operations. “Reports stated that it was a significant event with multiple damaged buildings, several fatalities and potentially a large number of wounded personnel.”
Brereton said that within 24 hours of the attack, the Somali government reached out to the US Department of State, requesting US Department of Defense assistance. With co-ordination from various entities at US Africa Command, including assistance from the command’s representatives from the US Agency for International Development and the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, CJTF-HOA began receiving specific requests for supplies to be sent to Somalia. “At that point, we had to reach out across the command here,” he stated.
Members of the CJTF-HOA Surgeon Cell were contacted to provide medical provisions while the CJTF-HOA Logistics Directorate co-ordinated how the supplies would be moved to Somalia.
“We extend our deepest condolences to all Somalis, especially those who lost friends and family in the attacks,” said US Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, CJTF-HOA deputy commanding general in Somalia. “The US stands with the international community in supporting our Somali partner and will continue efforts towards security and peace for the people of this region.”
Brereton commented on the teamwork that was the backbone for the support efforts: “It was a team effort that required close co-ordination with the Mogadishu team that works closely with the State Department and Federal Government of Somalia in communication with the Mogadishu populous and President of Somalia. Here at Camp Lemonnier we have a dedicated team of logisticians, working through the night to gather this material from supply depots, palletise it, get in on the aircraft, and prep for transport.”