|Updated: 12-Sep-2005||NATO Press Releases|
(2005)110 9 Sep. 2005
Statement by the Secretary General on NATO Katrina Support Operation
Today, NATO nations approved a naval and air operation to bring relief supplies from Europe to the United States, to assist the US in recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
Since September 3 rd, NATO has been helping to coordinate offers of assistance to meet the requirements set out by the US Government. To date, the US has accepted, from NATO and Partner nations, offers including financial assistance, food, first aid kits and medical supplies, generators, water pumps and rescue teams.
NATO also has a liaison officer already in Washington, working with US authorities to help coordinate the inflow of material.
The NATO transport operation approved today will dramatically increase the resources available to NATO and Partner countries to move their assistance to the US.
The naval component of the NATO Response Force will make available at least two, maybe three roll on, roll off ships, and perhaps other ships as necessary -- enough lift to carry 600 long trucks worth of assistance.
At the same time, part of the air component of the NRF will provide aircraft for more urgent requirements, through a NATO airbridge.
This operation will be commanded by SHAPE, through the NRF HQ in Lisbon, and the NATO Air movement Centre, in close coordination with US Northern Command.
The aircraft can begin deploying in the coming days. The ships are now steaming to port, and the first should arrive in European port within a few days.
This capacity is available to NATO nations. It is also available to NATO’s 20 Partner countries. And it is available to NGOs as well, who may have valuable donations they would like to make.
We have all been profoundly touched by the terrible tragedy Hurricane Katrina wrought on the US Gulf Coast. With this operation – the biggest deployment to date of the NATO Response Force – America’s Allies and Partners are doing what they can to help provide relief. And NATO will continue to stand ready to do what we can.