US bolsters Indonesian partnership by extending troops' stay

by Master Sgt. James May
U.S. Air Force

BALIKPAPAN, Indonesia -- U.S. Air Force members assigned to the 36th Contingency Response Group at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan have extended their mission to support USAID’s humanitarian response to help people affected by the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami.

“This is what we mean when we say we are Indonesia’s partner,” said U.S. Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr., “We will continue to assist the Government of Indonesia in its relief efforts.”

More than 330,000 people are homeless or without adequate shelter.

If needed, the extension will run until October 25 when the Indonesian government has decided to end the airbridge operations between Balikpapan and Palu. This will enable the continued transport of critical humanitarian supplies, cargo, and displaced people until the airbridge closes.

“Working side-by-side with our Indonesian and multinational counterparts has been extremely rewarding because I believe our combined efforts saved lives,” said Col. Daniel Roesch, 36th Contingency Response Group commander.

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