To support ongoing U.S. assistance led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. European Command has positioned military capabilities, personnel and equipment to aid the government of Türkiye in its continued search and rescue efforts following the 7.8 earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria on Feb. 6.
"When an Ally or partner nation faces moments of incalculable disaster and tragic loss of human life, there's never a moment of hesitation from the United States to quickly respond to the needs of that nation," said U.S. Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, USEUCOM commander. "From search and rescue to medical assistance and humanitarian aid, our command is working with other U.S. government agencies to provide assistance requested by the government of Türkiye in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Compassion and determination are the driving forces behind every U.S. military member and civilian assisting Türkiye during these difficult days."
A team from USEUCOM headquarters arrived at Incirlik Air Base, Türkiye, on Feb. 9 to determine how the U.S. military can rapidly respond with critically needed capabilities and equipment to support assistance requested by the Turkish government through USAID.
The George Herbert Walker Bush Carrier Strike Group arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea within hours of notification on Feb. 7, and stands ready to provide logistics, medical, and rotary airlift support.
Additionally, U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft have been flying missions out of Incirlik Air Base. On Feb. 7, U.S. rotary wing assets based at Incirlik AB began transporting first responders to the most affected populations, and on Feb. 8, UH-60 Black Hawks transported injured civilians to a local medical facility. Additional aircraft, including Black Hawks and CH-47 Chinooks are being sent to Incirlik and will be postured for potential follow-on missions to support any requests from Turkish medical professionals.
Incirlik Air Base is serving as a major hub for humanitarian assistance flowing to the affected region. U.S. Air Force Airmen have been supporting Turkish forces offloading thousands of pounds of aid coming from global Allies and partners. Incirlik AB has received over 1,337 international aircraft sorties in support of earthquake relief assistance since recovery efforts initiated.
USEUCOM has designated U.S. Naval-Forces Europe and Africa as the lead component command overseeing the USEUCOM humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts with Türkiye. To aid in the that coordination, U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Andrew Priddy, U.S. Naval Amphibious Forces Europe commander and 2D Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding general, arrived in Türkiye Feb. 9 to lead military coordination efforts with U.S. agencies involved in the humanitarian aid and disaster relief effort.
USEUCOM is committed to supporting our Turkish Ally to ensure U.S. humanitarian assistance is delivered where and when they are needed most.
U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel and works closely with NATO Allies and partners. The command is one of two U.S. forward-deployed geographic combatant commands headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. For more information about USEUCOM, visit www.eucom.mil.