U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Wynn Hoke
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Wynn Hoke

DoD successfully completes Yutu Relief Mission in CNMI

by Sgt. 1st Class Wynn Hoke
8th Theater Sustainment Command

ASAN, Guam (Feb. 8, 2019) - Service members from Joint Task Force West officially concluded Super Typhoon Yutu relief and recovery efforts in Saipan and Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Feb. 6-7.

Joint Task Group Engineer, a contingent of Task Force west, arrived in Saipan, CNMI, in early January and immediately started working on providing temporary metal roofing to damaged homes.

Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas and commander, Joint Task Force West addressed the service members and thanked them for their service.

"You were the right unit at the right time, with the right skills, and the right leaders to do this mission," she said. "I want to thank you for the time that you put in here, for the experience you have given these survivors of a category five typhoon. The work you have done has impacted lives and will be remembered through each family you have helped."

The engineers are positioned to hand over the recovery efforts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to continue recovery and rebuilding in Saipan and Tinian.

CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres, thanked the Department of Defense for their efforts and for bringing comfort to residents during a difficult time.

"This is a bitter sweet day for me.saying goodbye to servicemen, our Soldiers, our Airmen, for all the things you have done for this island," he said. "Rebuilding homes is not just for safety or to prevent water from coming in, but to build that home to build that dream, all of us no matter what you do, you go home to rest and to check your families where there is comfort. That is what you have brought to this island; comfort, rebuilding back our homes, our dreams for our children. Thank you for the things you have done here, from the bottom of our hearts."

Engineers from the Army, Navy and Air Force completed more than 560 temporary metal roofing on homes in Saipan and Tinian, CNMI, while working more than 65,000 hours. During the little more than a month-long recovery mission, engineers staged, distributed and used more than 7,600 pieces of lumber and more than 230,000 square feet of tin used in the roofing efforts.

Since October 25, 2018, military service members from the DoD have accomplished numerous FEMA-assigned immediate response and recovery mission assignment. The current focus for Task Group Engineers was the installation of temporary roofs.

Military service members from Joint Region Marianas and from locations throughout the Indo-Pacific Command are proud of their efforts to work with the CNMI's civil and local officials and assist FEMA in the efforts to recover from the devastating impacts of the typhoon.

Photo Caption:
SAIPAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Feb. 6, 2019) - Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas and commander, Joint Task Force West, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres are joined by Joint Task Group Engineer and Saipan first responders for group photo after the closing ceremony for Joint Task Group Engineer in Saipan, CNMI. The ceremony was held to mark the end of Department of Defense relief and recovery efforts in upport of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and CNMI's civil and local authorities from the devastating impacts of Super Typhoon Yutu, which hit the commonwealth Oct. 25, 2018.

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