Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Marines have Arrived

From AFP via ChannelnewsAsia.com (Jan 10, 2005)

...From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli...

Welcome aboard!

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US marines land in Indonesia's Meulaboh for first time

MEULABOH, Indonesia: US marines arrived in Meulaboh for the first time on Monday, bringing water, rice and timber to the remote Indonesian town where more than 28,000 people were killed in the tsunami disaster.

"This is the first time we are landing here. We are bringing the items to assist in the humanitarian effort," Liuetenant Colonel Jay Hatton of the 15th Marine Expedition Unit said as his men unloaded goods on the beach at Pasir village.

As the marines' hovercraft made its way to land on the beach, three US Chinook transport helicopters flew in close formation overhead, along with a reconnaissance helicopter.

The hovercraft came from the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme-Richard, which is stationed in Meulaboh port.

US forces have played a major role in delivering supplies to the most isolated and worst-affected areas in Aceh since the December 26 disaster, which has left more than 104,000 people dead in the province.

Navy Seahawk helicopters have been flying from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh along the west coast and dropping off relief supplies for over a week.

Meulaboh was one of the worst hit towns by the floods and remains cut off by land from Banda Aceh with destroyed roads and bridges yet to be repaired. - AFP

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