This article was originally published by the Special Operations Command South.
A U.S. Black Hawk medical evacution helicopter crew assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B) in Honduras rescued victims of Hurricane Eta stranded in floodwaters earlier today following the effects of Hurricane Eta.
At the request of the governments of Honduras and Panama, the task force is supporting immediate, life-saving efforts in Honduran and Panamanian communities impacted by the disaster.
“As partners and neighbors to Honduras and Panama, we are assisting our friends in their time of need,” said U.S. Army Col. John D. Litchfield, JTF-B commander. “Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods in this disaster. We are determined to save as many lives as we can.”
The JTF-B Situational Assessment Team of approximately 27 military personnel, two UH-60 Black Hawks and two CH-47 Chinooks rapidly deployed from Soto Cano Air Base to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where they are providing immediate life-saving support to the people of Honduras in areas devastated by the recent hurricane.
In Panama, JTF-B is supporting rescue efforts with approximately 20 military personnel, a UH-60 Black Hawk and two CH-47 Chinooks.
Department of Defense commanders are authorized to direct assigned forces at or near the immediate scene of a foreign disaster to take prompt action to save human lives.
The mission of Joint Task Force-Bravo includes being prepared to support disaster relief operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, when directed by SOUTHCOM. JTF-B’s training and strategic location allows them to mobilize and respond to an emergency with very short notice, enabling them to rapidly respond to the needs of our partners.