BARISAL AIRPORT, Bangladesh --
Brig. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general, and Geeta Pasi, the Charge d' Affaires for the US Embassy, made a scheduled visit to the post-Sidr operations center at Barisal Airport in southern Bangladesh, Nov. 27, 2007.
Bailey visited the region to witness the accomplishments that Marines on the ground have made there since U.S. military relief efforts began Nov. 23, he said.
U.S. military forces came to aid the victims of Tropical Cyclone Sidr at the request of the Bangladesh Government after the storm struck the country’s southern coast Nov. 15 killing more than 3,400 people and leaving scores homeless.
During their tour of the central relief-supply distribution hub, Bailey and Pasi met with several Bangladeshi military officials, who briefed them on the status of on-going relief efforts in southern Bangladesh.
Bailey expressed interest in increasing the distribution of more relief supplies to areas most affected by the cyclone along with the current water distribution effort.
Also present were Chief Advisor Ahmed Fakhuddin, and Bangladesh Army General M.A. Matin (ret.), Communications Adviser and National Coordinator for Cyclone Relief.
In his address, Fakhuddin urged the Bangladesh military to continue to accept the help from the US military.
“Taking advantage of the airlift power the Marines bring to the table will improve logistical support and increase the capacity of relief getting to remote areas,” said Fakhuddin.
The dignitaries took a brief tour of the area, where they met a 22-man team of Marines and Sailors from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the Bangladeshi Government for a job well done,” said Pasi to the Marines and Sailors.
At the end of the tour, Bailey and Pasi addressed members of the press, reiterating that the Bangladeshi Government, relief agencies and the US military are working side-by-side to reduce the human suffering caused by the recent storm.
Currently, a seven-man team of Air Force personnel is overseeing all US Military marshaling and offload operations at the operations center, while Marines, Sailors and Bangladesh military work closely to coordinate other efforts.
The Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) are embarked aboard Kearsarge and are currently on a scheduled six-month deployment. The unit consists of its Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment; Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 261 (reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and Command Element. To view a photo gallery of the day’s events, visit the unit’s Web site at www.22meu.usmc.mil.