In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck central southern Türkiye on February 6, resulting in over 41,987 deaths and injuries to approximately 114,100 people in Turkey and Syria, the United States military has joined efforts to provide humanitarian aid to affected communities. Several U.S. military units, including the 3rd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, have been deployed to support the task force providing assistance with Turkish disaster relief efforts.
The U.S. soldiers have provided critical dynamic lift capability in direct support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is leading the government’s response efforts in support of the Turkish Government. USAID plans to transport relief supplies on approximately ten flights, carrying more than 1.8 million pounds of essential items such as kitchen sets, hygiene kits, heavy-duty plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, and high thermal blankets to provide for hundreds of thousands of people.
The deployment of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) by USAID is intended to help coordinate the disaster assessments, identify urgent humanitarian needs, assist with search and rescue operations, and work with partners on the ground to save lives. With the joint efforts of U.S. military and USAID, the relief efforts are expected to make a significant impact on the affected communities.