As the U.S. continues to provide aid to Turkey following February’s devastating earthquakes, the Army’s V Corps has taken on a key role in the skies.
U.S. 6th Fleet, which has led the military’s response to the quakes that have killed more than 47,000 people in Turkey, requested air support from V Corps to transport people and supplies and provide medical evacuation.
The corps sent 15 aircraft from the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, and soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. It completed more than 29 missions in 21 days, moving more than 500,000 pounds of equipment including diapers, hygiene sets, heavy duty plastic sheets for temporary shelters and more, and logging 284 hours of flight time, according to an Army news release.
“What we’ve accomplished by way of support to the Turkish people in the last 21 days has proven our resolve to our Allies,” said Col. John A. Morris III, commander of the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, in the release. “This brigade came prepared, exceeded expectations, and ultimately reassured our commitment to remain stronger together.”
V Corps’ main headquarters deployed to Europe in March 2022 to support NATO and counter Russian aggression in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an Army news release. Part of its mission to assure allies includes humanitarian relief efforts such as the mission in Turkey out of Incirlik Air Base.
“You're happy that you're able to provide relief to these people,” said Capt. Kaleb Dahl, commander of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, in the release. “But at the same time, it's incredibly sad to see these displaced people with their homes and livelihoods destroyed. So it was a lot of mixed emotions. But overall, we're incredibly proud to be part of that effort.”