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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More on Tsunami "Logistics Basics"

The Command Post writes on Banda Aceh Logistics Basics (Cross-referenced from A.E.Brain). The point -the same one I've been trying to make for days here- is that you can't fly enough stuff into the tsunami zone and ships are needed to do the (literally) heavy lifting.
But how are we to get the 10- and 20-tonne trucks in there? A C-130 can carry a 2.5 tonne truck, that's about all it has room for. More importantly, how are we to get the bulldozers, the diggers, the massive 40-tonne graders, and all the other really heavy roadbuilding paraphenalia there ASAP? There are 2 ways : use a USAF or RAF C-17A transport aircraft (the C-5B and AN-124s can't feasibly operate from the airfield with heavy loads), or by ship. And even the C-17s would have difficulty carrying in the heaviest gear, and likely couldn't carry a grader in on a runway that light. Moving in this infrastructure-building equipment in by air would disrupt, or rather, completely stop, the delivery of such "non-essential luxuries" as food and water that are the only things keeping tens of thousands of people alive.

Guess who's providing the ships? They're on their way, HMAS Kanimbla sailed just the other day for example. The US is providing a helluva lot more. The UN is providing, oh, approximately none.
The importance of this is brought home by this posting:
From the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) :
The United States military has stepped up its relief effort for victims of the tsunami in Indonesia.

For the first time, US marines have set foot in Meulaboh on Aceh's west coast, bringing much-needed supplies.

Just hours after a US helicopter crashed, suspending delivery of aid to the isolated town of Meulaboh, 300 marines arrived by hovercraft with water, rice, and timber.

More marines are expected to arrive in the next two days, along with engineers.

They will also bring heavy machinery to help rebuild the devastated town, which lost almost 30,000 of its residents.
Hovercraft? Probably LCACs from the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).

You want bulldozers moved to an island? The US Navy can do. Where are the UN chartered ships?

Update: My earlier posts on the need for ships and the ships being provided by the US: here, here, and here.

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