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U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Andrew Priddy, commanding general of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and deputy commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, left, walks with Col. Calvin Powell, 39th Air Base Wing commander, right, after arriving at Incirlik Air Base, Türkiye, Feb 9, 2023. The U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy personnel were tasked to assist with leading the response force following a series of earthquakes that struck central-southern Türkiye on Feb 6, 2023. As a fellow NATO ally, the U.S. Government mobilized personnel to assist in Türkiye in their response efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman David D. McLoney)

Photo by Senior Airman David McLoney

Unified DoD Efforts Supporting Türkiye

11 Feb 2023 | Capt. MacKenzie Margroum Marine Corps Forces Europe

Marines and Sailors from Task Force 61/2 (TF 61/2), commanded by Brig. Gen. Andrew Priddy, operating under U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) and U.S. Sixth Fleet arrived at Incirlik Air Base in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, Feb. 9.

The U.S. Department of Defense established a Command and Control Center, commanded by Priddy, to support requirements from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and to coordinate all U.S. military operations, following a 7.8-magnititude earthquake that tragically struck Türkiye on Feb. 6.

"We are here in support of USAID to assist the government and people of Türkiye during this time of need,” said Priddy. “Right now, the Navy-Marine Corps team is working alongside the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force to support the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) as they provide aid to the people of Türkiye.”

Currently, TF 61/2 is overseeing the additional arrival of several U.S. military helicopters. The helicopters arriving include two UH-60s, three HH-60s, and three CH-47s from the U.S. Army, and a few U.S. Navy MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters from the USS GEORGE H W BUSH. These aircraft are in addition to the four UH-60 helicopters currently supporting aid from Incirlik. The primary mission of these aircraft is to support transportation and logistics for the DART and the two U.S. Urban Search and Rescue teams.

“Our forward deployed integration with U.S. Sixth Fleet enabled us to rapidly respond to this whole of government effort,” said Priddy. “This is the value of the blue-green team, a dynamic world-wide deployable crisis response force.”

TF 61/2 Marines and Sailors join other U.S. European Command components already on station, in addition to our U.S. allies and partners. The U.S. has helped facilitate 1337 total international aircraft sorties since the recovery efforts initiated.

"Being able to support USAID's humanitarian effort is an incredible opportunity," said Lt. Michael Weaver, a Navy medical planner with TF 61/2. “We are here to assist the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team as they assess the damage, identify priority needs, and coordinate with the Government of Türkiye.”