NEWS | Jan. 10, 2009

SOUTHCOM deploys disaster response team to Costa Rica

By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

A team of 34 U.S. military personnel and four helicopters from Honduras-based Joint Task Force-Bravo deployed to Costa Rica today to assist with disaster response efforts in areas affected by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake near San Jose.

The team, comprised of U.S. Army and Air Force aviation crews, rescue, medical and support personnel, is supporting ongoing efforts to search and locate victims in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and representatives of Costa Rica's national disaster response organizations.

Adm. James Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, directed the deployment after Costa Rican government officials requested U.S. assistance from the U.S. Embassy, located in the nation's capital.

In November, a team of 48 U.S. military personnel and seven helicopters from the task force deployed to Panama and Costa Rica where they worked alongside local officials to help communities impacted by heavy rains and flooding.