A team of Joint Base Lewis-McChord Green Berets is on the ground in Nepal helping care for people injured by Saturday’s deadly earthquake, an Army spokesman confirmed Monday.
The 26 soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Group were already in Nepal participating in a joint military exercise when the earthquake struck.
All of them are safe, 1st Special Forces Group spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Dan Balda said. They now are supporting Nepal’s army in treating earthquake victims.
Pentagon officials told Stars and Stripes that the Green Berets would help answer Nepal’s call for assistance by providing medical care, logistical support and some search and rescue assignments.
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Meanwhile, JBLM’s 62nd Airlift Wing and its fleet of C-17 jets is on standby anticipating an order to deliver humanitarian supplies to Kathmandu, said wing spokesman Master Sgt. Todd Wivell.
The Air Force has sent two C-17 cargo jets loaded with supplies and search and rescue teams. One left from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and the other from March Air Reserve Base in California.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake’s death toll has topped 4,000, according to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Thousands more are reported to be injured.
Balda could not describe the location where the JBLM soldiers are staying, or say when they are expected to return home.
The 1st Special Forces Group regularly partners with U.S. allies in Asia and the Pacific Rim for joint-exercises. They’re meant to “train with local forces, build Pacific partnerships and work on language training,” Balda said.