- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2015

The Pentagon said more U.S. military assets are on the way to Nepal on Monday to assist in the aftermath of a massive earthquake that left thousands dead.

A second C-17 military aircraft left March Air Reserve Base in California on Monday carrying about 50 personnel, including the Los Angeles Search and Rescue team. The plane is expected to arrive in Nepal on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.

The Pentagon said Sunday that a military aircraft carrying nearly 70 personnel left Dover Air Force Base in Delaware that morning and is expected to arrive in Nepal on Monday night. That plane is carrying the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team and 45 square tons of cargo.

The Virginia-based search and rescue team consists of 57 personnel, while the L.A. team has 47, Col. Warren said. Each team also has six dogs to assist in search and rescue operations.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday during a press conference in New York that the U.S. would be sending an additional $9 million in aid to Nepal, bringing the total U.S. financial contribution to more than $10 million.

In addition to American personnel traveling to the country, there are also two teams of Green Berets who were conducting training operations in the country but have since been re-tasked to support earthquake relief, Col. Warren said. Some of the teams, who were conducting high altitude training, will be assisting on popular trekking routes in Nepal, including one to the Everest Base Camp.

The C-130 that brought those two dozen special forces personnel to Nepal will stay on the ground in Nepal for the next 48 hours to evacuate any U.S. citizens who may have been injured in the disaster, Col. Warren said.

In total, there are more than 160 U.S. personnel who will be on the ground in Nepal, Col. Warren said.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday. More than 4,000 people are dead as a result of the tragedy according to current estimates, though death tolls have continued to rise in recent days.


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