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News | Nov. 27, 2008

JTF-Bravo provides life saving assistance to flood affected regions of Costa Rica, Panama

By 1st Lt. Candace Park Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

A task force of 20 U.S. military personnel and two UH 60 Blackhawks from Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras arrived here Nov. 25 to provide life saving assistance to Panamanian and Costa Rican civilians affected by recent flooding. Missions will be conducted in close coordination with the national disaster response organizations of the respective countries.

A follow on element from JTF-Bravo composed of three UH 60 and two CH47 helicopters, personnel recovery teams and medical support is scheduled to arrive here today to provide assistance.

JTF-Bravo personnel are responding to requests for assistance from the Panamanian and Costa Rican governments through their respective U.S. Embassies.

As a result of heavy rains and flooding, seven people have died, six people are missing and more than 30,000 have been affected in the Changuinola region of Panama.

"We're committed to assisting our friends and neighbors affected by the flooding," said Col. Richard Juergens, JTF-Bravo commander. "Joint Task Force-Bravo will actively support the Panamanian and Costa Rican government to help save lives. JTF-Bravo is well equipped and trained for these types of emergencies, and consequently when called upon, we have the capability to deliver assistance quickly. Most important to the effective execution is the great partnership we have with the Governments of Panama and Costa Rica as well as the country teams."

"The U.S. military team will station out of Limon, Costa Rica, providing life saving support and remain prepared for follow on missions" the colonel said.