Army Reserve Answers First Call for Disaster Relief in American Samoa

February 21, 2018

When disaster strikes at home, who answers the call to clean up and rebuild? After a destructive storm struck here recently, Army Reserve forces took immediate action.

In concert and coordination with various federal, state, local, interagency, and non-governmental organization partners, Army Reservists transported Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross relief supplies and equipment to support their fellow citizens following the destructive path of Tropical Cyclone Gita across the island of American Samoa Feb 11-16.

More than 300 U.S. Army Reservists reside and work in American Samoa.

Helping Americans

“We are part of this community. We are members of the community and it is ours to protect,” said Army Lt. Col. Clinton C. Seybold, commander of the American Samoa Detachment. “We are very proud to be here to help the American people and the people of American Samoa are American people.”

The Army Reserve is using its Pago Pago facility as a staging base for federal agencies to operate out of as they conduct their recovery operations.

“It’s very convenient for federal assets,” Seybold said. “It has been designated the federal team staging facility for the military personnel part of the federal response they come check in with us and if need be we house them.”

An emergency declaration was made by Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and approved by President Donald J. Trump, which allowed aid to be distributed to the island territory.

As the island rebuilds, American Samoa’s Army Reservists will continue to work providing capabilities that support their communities, families, and neighbors.

“We are here to answer the call wherever we are needed,” Seybold said. “It just so happened this time we were needed at home.”