WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced additional federal support en route to American Samoa by air. The flights below represent the first legs in an “air bridge” being established to ferry supplies into the island territory in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s tsunami. Flights will continue for the foreseeable future in order to respond to the needs of the survivors on the ground.
FEMA and its federal partners continue to work closely with territorial and local government to respond in areas impacted by the tsunami. Planned flights for the response efforts that will include personnel, skill sets and commodities, are as follows:
A U.S. Coast Guard C-130, from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Calif., left Honolulu at 11 p.m. HDT (5 a.m. EDT) carrying the initial response team as well as FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO), Kenneth J Tingman. Tingman will coordinate closely with Region IX who has the lead on the response until a Joint Field Office is established.
Prior to joining FEMA, Tingman served more than 24 years as a United States Air Force officer. He held numerous overseas assignments and served in Germany, Korea, Turkey and the Balkan States. Since joining FEMA, Tingman has worked disasters in Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, California, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kentucky and Georgia.
Additional personnel on the flight include a FEMA logistics team and initial staff from U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), the Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense. They arrived around sunrise in Pago Pago which was early this afternoon eastern time.
C-17 National Guard Flight:
A Hawaii National Guard C-17 cargo flight is scheduled for travel from Honolulu to Samoa later today. The cargo on this flight will include primary commodities such as food, generators, water, shelter materials, and medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.
Supplies are now being loaded onto multiple DC-8 planes in Dallas-Fort Worth. One flight will head toward Samoa today and additional flights will leave tomorrow. These flights will include FEMA, HHS and Coast Guard staff as well as expertise from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the American Red Cross. These flights will also include commodities including vehicles, generators, food, cots and blankets.
Background Fact Sheet: Territory of American Samoa
Biography: Kenneth R. Tingman, Federal Coordinating Officer
Map: Estimated Travel to Pago Pago, American Samoa (PDF 678KB)
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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