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Coalition military activity is summarised below, with links to more extensive briefings where available.
On Saturday 8 October 2005, the Muzaffarabad area of Pakistani-administered Kashmir was hit by a major earthquake, killing and wounding tens of thousands and displacing millions from their homes. The UK Government immediately offered assistance. Under the direction of the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK Ministry of Defence is making a significant contribution to the international relief effort through the provision of military personnel, equipment and supplies, under the name Operation MATURIN.
|6 Mar 06||Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was at Downing Street this morning to thank UK troops involved in the humanitarian relief effort following the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005.|
|2 Feb 06||Commando Engineers from North Devon and Commando Royal Marines from Plymouth returned from the earthquake disaster region of Bagh in Pakistan where they built shelters to replace schools and health centres before the arrival of the harsh winter.|
|16 Jan 06||Royal Engineer and Navy commandos, based in Bagh, Pakistan since early December 2005, have been building shelters to help protect those affected by October 2005's devastating earthquake. Originally asked by NATO to build 48 single shelters, the team from 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers will have constructed 73 by the time they return to the UK in early February 2006. All the shelters have been built at high altitude and in isolated areas.|
|12 Jan 06||At 7,000 feet above sea level, and in three foot of snow, the Royal Engineers from 59 Independent Commando Squadron have begun work on their latest construction of winter shelters to act as clinics in the Motan Valley, Kashmir. Twenty eight Royal Engineers and eighteen tonnes of construction materials were flown in by NATO's German CH 53s to this most isolated of mountain villages. The aim is to provide a storage building, an out patients and in patients clinic for the local Pakistan Health administration.|
|10 Jan 06||British troops have been able to give logistical support to a UNICEF aid convoy heading into the isolated mountain villages of earthquake ravaged Kashmir. UNICEF are running a distribution programme for needy families affected by the earthquake and Kashmiri winter. The problem for Mr Tamur Mueenuddin, the head of UNICEF in Bagh, has been getting the aid up mountain tracks that have been partially blocked by winter snow. Realising that the British troops working as part of NATO's Disaster Relief Team were using multi terrain vehicles (BV 206s) to build winter shelters in mountain villages, he asked for their help.|
|4 Jan 06||Members of 59 Independent Squadron RE and Royal Marines, who have been building winter shelters for the people of Kashmir, have helped rescue a much needed aid convoy which had been stranded by the heavy snow. After delivering kerosene and two generators, they set off to the village of Ringoli, where they discovered an eleven vehicle convoy carrying food aid from the Irish charity, GOAL, which had been abandoned since a blizzard on New Year's Eve. Using their BVs the engineers began clearing a number of the aid tractors to the side of the road to allow supplies through, and rescued some of the vehicles which were perilously close to plummeting over the cliffs. The engineers trail blazed through blocked mountain tracks along a ridge line to the villages of Mallot and Rangola at 2134 m (7,000 ft).|
|3 Jan 06||As the earthquake ravaged population of Kashmir shivered in the winter snow, British Commando Engineers made their way up the mountains to the isolated village of Dhal Khazian to build winter shelters. The Devon based 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers and Royal Marines engineers are Britain's commitment to NATO's Disaster Relief Team (NDRT) in the aftermath of October's earthquake.|
|20 Dec 05||Work to beat the coming winter continue apace in Pakistan, where 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers have reached the village of Ringoli near the town of Dhirkot, Kashmir.|
|19 Dec 05||As the England Cricket Test team rested before their next international, another Englishman took to the field in the earthquake ravaged town of Bagh, Pakistan.|
|12 Dec 05||Members of 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers have reached the Kashmiri village of Gahl Chhaprian, Kashmir courtesy of NATO helicopters deployed to fly them into one of the region's most inaccessible areas.|
|8 Dec 05||At 7,500ft in the village of Chittra Topi, members of Britain's 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers, supported by members of the Royal Marines, have begun constructing emergency shelters to act as clinics during the harsh Kashmiri winter.|
|6 Dec 05||86 of Britain's 59 Independent Squadron Royal Engineers have arrived in Bagh District, Kashmir, to find that the region's harsh winter has already begun to draw in.|
|5 Dec 05||Three Chinook helicopters of 27 Squadron Royal Air Force arrived back at RAF Odiham having delivered almost 1,600 tons of aid to the more remote parts of earthquake-hit Pakistan.|
|29 Nov 05||A team of
British Army and Royal Navy Logistics officers have been working with the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre, helping to
plan the co-ordinated delivery of aid to people located in the affected areas of earthquake-hit Pakistan.|
The humanitarian relief and reconstruction effort in Kashmir is continuing apace, following the devastating earthquake on 8 Oct 05, and UK Armed Forces personnel are still actively involved.
|28 Nov 05||A specialist party of Commando Engineers will provide vital and timely support to thousands of homeless families in one of the worst affected regions of earthquake hit Pakistan, said the Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram.|
|24 Nov 05||The final RAF C130 Hercules in the UN/NATO Humanitarian airlift operation to earthquake-hit Pakistan flew home to RAF Lyneham, having successfully completed its six week life saving mission to take essential aid from Europe into Pakistan, following the devastating earthquake on the 8 Oct 05.|
|18 Nov 05||NATO personnel working in Pakistan to provide relief to the area devastated by the earthquake of 8 Oct 05 have all taken the plight of the victims to heart. British forces from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force are participating in the aid operation.|
|16 Nov 05||Royal Air Force Chinook helicopters began a major United Nations airlift operation, dramatically increasing the amount of aid flown high into the mountains of Pakistani Kashmir.|
|15 Nov 05||An RAF officer is leading NATO's efforts to provide relief to Northern Pakistan, devastated by the earthquake of 8 Oct 05. British forces from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force are participating in the aid operation.|
|10 Nov 05||An RAF Hercules C-130 has been on a mercy mission to Poland collecting aid destined for earthquake-hit Pakistan. After the three-hour flight from RAF Lyneham, a long and arduous loading process followed. The aircraft then flew through the night to Pakistan where the aid was immediately offoaded.|
|8 Nov 05||Three MOD C-130s continue to deliver aid as part of the NATO Response Force, and as at 8 Nov 05, the MOD is pleased to confirm that they had carried out 22 trips, delivering 292 tons of aid via the NATO airbridge.|
|6 Nov 05||A Joint Media Operations Team (JMOT) (3 people) plus one Media Ops officer from the Joint Forces HQ is continuing to provide coverage of the UK response in order to heighten overall public awareness of the positive contributions that the UK is making to the relief effort and to help reassure the Pakistan, Indian and Kashmiri communities in Britain. The team is also providing assistance to NATO where possible.|
|30 Oct 05||England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, who are currently on tour in Pakistan with the rest of the team, were so moved by their visit to a children's hospital in Islamabad that they asked if they could help with the delivery of aid to the mountain villages devastated by the earthquake.|
|29/30 Oct 05||Three medics deployed in support of the Chinook operations in order to provide supervision of casualties carried on return CH47 sorties, transferring them from landing zones to Islamabad.|
|29 Oct 05||A two-man Mobile Air Operations Team (MAOT) deployed in response to a UN request to survey landing zones to the north of Islamabad, in order to assess the possibility of using a new operating base to ease the current aviation congestion difficulties.|
|26 Oct 05||Four logistic planners deploy to Islamabad to assist the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) to supplement the team of six UN personnel. Their task is to make more effective use of the aircraft already in Pakistan.|
Readying their Chinook HC2 helicopters for action, ground crews of 27 Sqn RAF have toiled around the clock today, 26 Oct 05, so that they can contribute to the UN-led aid effort in Northern Pakistan tomorrow.
One of the three RAF Chinook helicopters which have deployed to Pakistan to help with the UN-led aid efforts flew its first mission delivering relief and evacuating casualties on 26 Oct 05.
|25 Oct 05||The first Chinook aircraft, which was flown out from RAF Fairford on Saturday 22 Oct 05, has been rebuilt, and is due to undergo flight-testing in the next 24 hours, the others will undergo the same process. It is expected that all three aircraft will be ready for tasking by Thursday [27 Oct 05] this week.|
|22 Oct 05||The first C-17 carrying a Chinook helicopter departed for Pakistan from RAF Fairford, with the second and third Chinooks arriving over the rest of the weekend.|
|20 Oct 05||The MOD confirmed the deployment of three heavy-lift CH-47 Chinook helicopters, with accompanying personnel, for a 28 day period, at DFID’s request. The Chinooks would be transported to Pakistan using RAF C-17s and a chartered Antonov.|
|19 Oct 05||
A small (seven person) military team from the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) and RAF Odiham, travelled to Islamabad to
facilitate the deployment of further aircraft and assistance.
A RAF C-130 Hercules was the first NATO Response Force aircraft to transport aid to Pakistan from Incirlik, Turkey. In total three UK MOD C-130s were deployed to Incirlik, accompanied by supporting personnel and all three aircraft began delivering aid to Pakistan. This assistance was provided at NATO’s request following a decision by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) to activate elements of the NATO Response Force.
|18 Oct 05||A six-person UK Liaison party joined the French-led Joint Force Air Component Command Headquarters (JFAC HQ).|
|17 Oct 05||
Over 23,000 ration packs have been sent to Pakistan as part of the UK's wider earthquake relief effort,
announced Defence Secretary John Reid.
On 16 Oct 05 a Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules transported 3,150 Halal operational ration packs and bottled water from the British Forces in Afghanistan to Islamabad. A further 19,950 vegetarian ration packs will be dispatched from Defence stores at Bicester today for transportation to Ramstein, Germany and onward by NATO airlift to Pakistan. All of the ration packs and water will be provided to the World Food Programme for distribution.
A RAF C-17 aircraft transported two civilian Puma helicopters, chartered by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), from Seville to Islamabad. The MOD provided 19,950 vegetarian ration packs for the World Food Programme, with DFID arranging transportation from Bicester, UK to Ramstein, Germany for onward NATO airlift to Pakistan.
|16 Oct 05||The MOD provided 3,150 Halal ration packs and bottled water to the World Food Programme, at DFID's request. These supplies were flown by RAF C-130 Hercules from Kabul to Islamabad.|
|13 Oct 05||A UK officer arrived in Islamabad as part of a six-person NATO Operational Liaison Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) to examine how NATO military personnel and equipment could help. The UK MOD offered the use of its theatre C-130 Hercules aircraft based in Afghanistan to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for relief operations in Pakistan.|