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Joint U.S. forces support Nepal earthquake relief efforts in Thailand

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Terrence Wright, an air transportation craftsman, loads a cooler containing units of blood bound for Kathmandu, Nepal into a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. A joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Terrence Wright, an air transportation craftsman, loads a cooler containing units of blood bound for Kathmandu, Nepal into a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. A joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

Joint Task Force-505 Airmen load the back of a truck with relief supplies bound for Kathmandu, Nepal in Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

Joint Task Force-505 Airmen load the back of a truck with relief supplies bound for Kathmandu, Nepal in Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Minihan, Joint Task Force-505 Joint Air Component Coordination Element commander, speaks with members of the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as they join the JACCE team at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. The 18th AES is deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Minihan, Joint Task Force-505 Joint Air Component Coordination Element commander, speaks with members of the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as they join the JACCE team at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. The 18th AES is deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

Joint Task Force-505 personnel assist and monitor humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at the JTF-505 Joint Operations Center at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in support of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

Joint Task Force-505 personnel assist and monitor humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations at the JTF-505 Joint Operations Center at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in support of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

U.S. Marine Lance Corps Cpl. Alex Sokolowski and Pfc. Jennings Waddell monitor and maintain communication and satellite systems at the Joint Task Force-505 Intermediate Staging Base on Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in support of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. Sokolowski and Waddell are deployed to Utapao from the 7th Communication Battalion, Camp Hansen, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

U.S. Marine Lance Corps Cpl. Alex Sokolowski and Pfc. Jennings Waddell monitor and maintain communication and satellite systems at the Joint Task Force-505 Intermediate Staging Base on Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, May 10, 2015. The joint operations center established in Utapao serves as a staging point for JTF-505 aviation assets and key planners conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in support of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, April 25, 2015. Sokolowski and Waddell are deployed to Utapao from the 7th Communication Battalion, Camp Hansen, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/Released)

UTAPAO ROYAL THAI NAVY AIRFIELD, Thailand -- In support of Operation Sahayogi Haat, U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are ensuring humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies and personnel are moving smoothly in and out of Nepal at an intermediate staging base at Utapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand.

At the ISB, Joint Task Force-505 personnel monitor satellite and radio communications with other JTF-505 components throughout the region, and support air operations to ensure the government and people of Nepal receive the support they need to help recover from the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the mountainous country April 25.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Minihan, the JTF-505 Joint Air Component Coordination Element commander, explained the role of the mission in Thailand, and highlighted its importance to the overall Nepal earthquake relief mission.

"We've set up an intermediate staging base that can help airpower and airlift, specifically U.S. Marine and Air Force air [capabilities], and rapidly move those unique capabilities in and out of Nepal," Minihan said. "This JTF-505 is significant because it shows that the partnerships in this region are important, and all the exercises and engagements that we do throughout this region have a real-world application so that when an incident happens like the earthquake in Nepal, we can rapidly come together ... and instantly have a positive impact and do what we need to do for the government and the people of Nepal."

The JTF-505 mission in Thailand has been able to move tons of cargo and hundreds of support personnel into Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and a region significantly impacted by the earthquake.

Additionally, Royal Thai Armed Forces work with the JTF-505 at the ISB to coordinate earthquake relief support with the Thai government.

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matthew Youngblood, JTF-505 JACCE officer in charge, said working jointly with the other services and the Thai government has been important to the earthquake relief mission.

"It has been an exceptional experience working with our service counterparts, and we look forward to continuing cooperation with the Thai government, and our continued services' support to the people of Nepal," Youngblood said.

U.S. Pacific Command activated JTF 505 on May 1 to work closely with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other U.S. agencies to ensure a timely and thorough response to requests by the government of Nepal.