CHIANGRAI TIMES – US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenny say’s “Despite the huge task ahead after the flood recedes, Thailand has the capacity to bounce back”
Mrs Kenny was commenting after delivering the fourth batch of US supplies to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
The US disaster assessment team has worked with the Thai military, government agencies, and international organisations to ensure the appropriate distribution of flood relief, said Mrs Kenny.
The United States is providing an additional 15 million baht ($500,000 dollar equivalent) in humanitarian assistance to support flood relief in Thailand through the International Organization for Migration. Also attending the conference was the U.S. Marine humanitarian assistance survey team, who have been surveying the damage from flood waters in Thailand to assess the area.
III MEF regularly trains to respond to natural disasters during exercises held on Okinawa and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The role of the Marine Corps during any humanitarian assistance and disaster response is to rapidly respond with critically needed capabilities to deliver assistance and relief to the area requiring immediate aid.
The USS Mustin and its two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters docked at Laem Chabang a few days ago for a week-long visit, but will now be staying for longer.
Thailand has been forced to accept U.S. military assistance as the crisis continues, despite the Thai military previously rebuffing the Americans.
The U.S. Navy initially sent an aircraft carrier and ships to the area to help with relief efforts but the Bangkok government never issued a formal request for help and the vessels left.
USS Mustin Captain John Kirby said his helicopters would conduct ‘aerial reconnaissance for the Thai government.’
‘The destroyer Mustin will be staying in Thailand a little bit longer now,’ he said. ‘The Thai government has asked to have it stick around to help out.’
Ambassador Kristie Kenny also said American business have also keen to help with Thai economic recovery.
Anna Wong – Chiangrai Times