PANO AQIL, Pakistan --
Marines and sailors of HMM-165 Reinforced, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and VMM-266, 26th MEU have reached another significant milestone today after delivering 1,545,260 pounds of relief supplies since their arrival in the southern province of Sindh, Pakistan.
Marine helicopters from HMM-165, 15th MEU began transitioning from northern Pakistan to the south to bolster relief efforts Sept. 2, and assumed flight operations the next day. Shortly thereafter the pilots from the 15th MEU were joined by four Super Stallion helicopters and their crews from VMM-266, 26th MEU, Sept. 6.
“The Marines and sailors here have been executing their mission with great determination and professionalism,” said Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, commanding officer of the U.S. military’s Task Force South-Pakistan. “The relief efforts have been going very well here in the south but we must remain focused,” explained the 51-year-old Washington, D.C. native. “There is still a great deal of suffering here and it is our intention to continue delivering supplies to aide in the relief for as long as the government of Pakistan deems it necessary,” said Harris.
With the combined efforts of the Marines and sailors from the northern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the southern province of Sindh now totaling nearly 4,000,000 pounds of relief supplies delivered, the Marine pilots of the 15th and 26th MEU are working hard to refine their methods.
“Every idea is given proper consideration when it comes to flying our missions more efficiently,” said Maj Jeffrey “Rosie” Palmer, a Sea Knight pilot with HMM -165, 15th MEU. “We have been working hard daily to deliver as many supplies as possible, but the needs of the flood victims here are still great,” explained the 39-year-old native of Dunwoody, Ga.
The 15th MEU is currently deployed with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group performing training and real-world missions as part of their routine deployment across the Western Pacific. The 26th MEU is currently deployed with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group during its Mediterranean float.