Army Reserve answers first call for disaster relief

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Faiupu Tagaleoo, Theater Support Group, 9th Mission Support Command, assists FEMA personnel with receipt of supplies to support Defense Support of Civil Authority operations in American Samoa in response to Tropical Storm Gita. The 9th Mission Support Command based out of Fort Shafter Flats has provided ongoing support for relief operations since Feb. 11. (Photo by 1st Sgt. Crista Mack)

9th Mission Support Command
Public Affairs

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — When disaster strikes at home, who answers the call to clean up and rebuild?
After a destructive storm struck, here, recently, Army Reserve forces took immediate action. In concert and coordination with various federal, state, local, interagency and non-governmental organization partners, Army Reservists transported Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross relief supplies and equipment to support their fellow citizens following the destructive path of Tropical Cyclone Gita across the island of American Samoa, Feb. 11-16.

More than 300 U.S. Army Reservists reside and work in American Samoa.

Helping Americans
“We are part of this community. We are members of the community, and it is ours to protect,” said Army Lt. Col. Clinton C. Seybold, commander of the American Samoa Detachment. “We are very proud to be here to help the American people. … The people of American Samoa are American people.”

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – U.S. Army Maj. Ullisses Taymes, Theater Support Group, loads luggage and supplies for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel that have arrived at Pago Pago International Airport to support relief operations for Tropical Storm Gita. The Theaters Support Group is a subordinate unit of 9th Mission Support Command based out of Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii.

The Army Reserve is using its Pago Pago facility as a staging base for federal agencies to operate out of as they conduct their recovery operations.

“It’s very convenient for federal assets,” Seybold said. “It has been designated the federal team staging facility for the military personnel. Part of the federal response, they come check in with us, and if need be, we house them.”
An emergency declaration made by Samoa’s governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, and approved by President Donald J. Trump, allowed aid to be distributed to the island territory.

As the island rebuilds, American Samoa’s Army Reservists will continue to work providing capabilities that support their communities, families and neighbors.

“We are here to answer the call wherever we are needed,” Seybold said. “It just so happened this time we were needed at home.”

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Faiupu Tagaleoo, Theater Support Group, 9th Mission Support Command, assists FEMA personnel with receipt of supplies to support Defense Support of Civil Authority operations in American Samoa in response to Tropical Storm Gita. The 9th Mission Support Command based out of Fort Shafter Flats has provided ongoing support for relief operations since Feb. 11.

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