‘Military Year’ In Review Nr. 2: Humanitarian Missions

Operation Damayan

The U.S. military typically are among the first ones to respond to natural disasters or any other disasters, at home and abroad.

This year was no different, except perhaps for the number of disasters that our military responded to.

Here are images of some of those humanitarian missions.

Tornado ravaged Moore, Oklahoma

Air Force Tech. Sgts. Brandon White, left, Ben Lake, middle, and Senior Airman Joshua Jacobs, right, help a resident search through debris looking for salvageable items in Moore, Okla., May 22, 2013, after a devastating tornado killed dozens of people there, May 20. White, Lake and Jacobs, joint terminal attack controllers, are assigned to the 138th Combat Training Flight. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

Black Forest Fire

U.S. Air Force Academy firefighters battle a hotspot in the Black Forest Fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 12, 2013. A total of 16 personnel and five vehicles from the academy have deployed to fight the fire, which has burned hundreds of homes and consumed thousands of acres. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher DeWit

Happy hoist

Army Staff Sgt. Jose Pantoja, behind, carries Mike Daniels, an evacuee, up a hoist onto a UH-60 Black Hawk Medevac helicopter during flood rescue operations in Boulder, Colo., Sept. 16, 2013. Pantoja, a flight medic, is assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault

Saving animals

Army Sgt. 1st Class Keith Bart carries an animal to safety during flood rescue and recovery operations in Boulder, Colo., Sept. 16, 2013. Bart, a crew chief assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibaul

Operation Damayan

U.S. Air Force personnel help families in Ormoc affected by Typhoon Haiyan exit an MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft during Operation Damayan after transport to Manila, Philippines, Nov. 21, 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel M. Young

Operation Damayan, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Tacloban residents displaced by Typhoon Haiyan fill the cargo hold of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft during Operation Damayan before departing from Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 22, 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Peter D. Blair

The goodwill of our troops, however, is not only displayed during such large-scale humanitarian actions. It is evident in their everyday actions, whether stopping to shake a child’s hand in a combat zone, helping to fix up a dilapidated clinic in some remote location or providing medical care to those who have none.

Here are some images.

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An Afghan mother and child watch as U.S. troops meet with the director of a nutritional center within the Farah Feeding Center in Farah City, Afghanistan, July 13, 2013. The troops are assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah, 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Security Force. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Chad A. Dulac

Enduring Freedom

An Afghan child waves a flag at a member of coalition forces as he walks to a medical clinic led by Afghan national security forces in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, March 12, 2013. Coalition and Afghan forces held the clinic to promote improved security, governance and development. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Kruger

NMCB 3 Pacific Region Deployment

U.S. Navy Seaman Michael Vilardo plays with children near Rolous Health Center in Ta Khmao, Cambodia, Nov. 25, 2013, where Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 recently constructed a new bathroom facility. Vilardo is assigned to the battalion, which is working on critical construction projects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Philippines. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class T.J. Melteson

New Horizons 2013


Capt. Daniel Dahl administers anesthesia to a Belizean boy while talking to his mother during a dental readiness training exercise April 26, 2013, at the Punta Gorda Hospital annex in Punta Gorda, Belize. Dental professionals from the U.S. and Canada are providing free dental treatment at multiple readiness training exercises throughout Belize as part of an exercise known as New Horizons. Dahl is a dental resident from Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Tony Tolley)

Lead photo: U.S. and Philippine troops help a Filipino woman board a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules during Operation Damayan in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 19, 2013, for transport to Manila. The Philippine government coordinated relief efforts, including search and rescue, supply drops and personnel airlifts, with military and civilian organizations. The Hercules is assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel M. Young.


All photos DOD. Most from “Year in Photos 2013

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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1 Comment

  1. In a utopian world, this would be the troops’ only job. How they must enjoy doing these things compared to what else they are required to do. And how wonderful it would be if they were all working here in the U.S. helping people, fixing roads and bridges…

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