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Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Humanitarian assistance and disaster response are core DoD capabilities, but they are always conducted in a supporting role to assist other U.S. Government agencies. DoD has the assets and experience to deploy necessary relief personnel and resources to all corners of the globe at a moment’s notice—there is no actor better prepared to respond in times of crisis. 

We have seen the positive impact of DoD’s efforts on the broader U.S. Government response to international disasters in a number of cases: 

  • In Operation Tomodochi, after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011—U.S. forces were instrumental in delivering food, water, blankets, clothing, and medical supplies to support Japanese civilian and military partners.
  • During Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Service Members were on the ground working with the Philippine military to provide essential medical treatment and supplies.
  • During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Service Members were involved in constructing treatment centers and providing logistical support to stem the spread of infection.
  • In the aftermath of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, U.S. military personnel were instrumental in supporting relief efforts with transportation and medical treatment, and where previous training exercises with the Nepalese military significant improved their capacity to respond to the crisis. 

These engagements have provided invaluable hands-on experience for service members that helps improve our future contributions to disaster relief efforts. They demonstrate time and again the value of our partnership-building activities, as partner nations have improved their disaster response capabilities after joining U.S. military in training exercises.

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U.S. builds bonds in Papua New Guinea

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9/17/2019
Navy Lt. Austin Stokes, (right), and Air Force Maj. Nicole Smith (center), both dentists, talk to a patient at the Pacific Angel 19-4 health outreach site in Lae, Papua New Guinea. The health outreach site is comprised of five clinics including primary care, optometry, dental, physical therapy and pharmacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

This is the second Pacific Angel exercise conducted in Papua New Guinea

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USNS Comfort completes medical mission in Peru

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7/22/2019
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (left) receives a fuel probe from the Peruvian ship B.A.P. Tacna during replenishment-at-sea practice. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems strained by an increase in Venezuelan migrants. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

This marks USNS Comforts’ seventh deployment to the region since 2007

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Vice President Pence tours USNS Comfort before its Latin America deployment

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6/20/2019
Vice President Mike Pence (right) greets Navy Lt. Gwendolyn Mann, and his wife, Karen Pence (center right), greets Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Edna Wallace during a tour of the USNS Comfort in Miami, June 18, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Jordan R. Bair)

The vice president called the deployment a lifesaving mission

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Navy hospital ship to deploy in response to humanitarian crisis in Latin America

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The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is scheduled to deploy in to the Caribbean, Central America and South America to conduct humanitarian medical assistance missions in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of political and economic crises in Venezuela. (U.S. Navy photo)

USNS Comfort represents our enduring promise to our partners in the Western Hemisphere

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How The U.S. Military Is Contributing To The Fight Against Cholera In Mozambique

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Hurricane threat's a reminder to be prepared for health care needs

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Ahead of Hurricane Florence, South Carolina National Guard soldiers load gear into a Humvee. Approximately 1,600 Soldiers and Airmen in the state have been mobilized to respond to recovery efforts as forecasters warn of a potential Category 4 storm and a projected landfall near the Carolinas. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight)

Emergency prescription procedures are in place for some states

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TRICARE Access during an evacuation or natural disaster

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USNS Mercy returns home following Pacific Partnership 2018

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Disaster Preparedness 2018

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Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Response Operations

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DoD Instruction 6010.22: National Disaster Medical System (NDMS)

Policy

This instruction establishes policy for DoD participation in the NDMS, a joint federal, State, and local mutual aid response system, to provide a coordinated medical response, patient movement, and definitive patient care during a military health emergency, U.S. national emergency, or U.S. domestic disaster.

DoD Directive 5100.46, Foreign Disaster Relief, July 6, 2012

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DoD Support to Foreign Disaster Relief Handbook

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DoD Support to Foreign Disaster Relief Handbook

DoD Instruction 6000.16: Military Health Support for Stability Operations

Policy

This Instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides instructions for military health support of stability operations in accordance with the authority in Reference (a). Military health support for stability operations is hereafter referred to as medical stability operations (MSOs).

Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Joint Publication 3-29

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