KATHMANDU, Nepal - Joint Task Force 505 UH-1Y Hueys deployed in support of Operation Sahayogi Haat in Nepal departed May 22 due to a successful handover of humanitarian aid and disaster relief duties to the government of Nepal and international communities based out of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, currently assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan under the Marine Corps’ Unit Deployment Program, arrived in Nepal to support JTF 505 May 4 in response to the tragic 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country April 25.
The Hueys, in coordination with the government of Nepal and the U.S. Agency for International Development, were chosen due to their ability to operate nimbly over 10,000 feet and its minimal footprint which allowed it deliver aid to some of the more austere landing zones throughout the operation.
During its service in Operation Sahayogi Haat, the UH-1Y Huey flew approximately 135 hours over the course of 80 missions, distributed 85,000 pounds of relief supplies, and transported 170 personnel and conducted 30 casualty evacuations.
Nim Doma Sherpa, a Nepalese native, expressed her gratitude for the food and supplies that were delivered by the UH-1Y Huey.
“Our houses are gone; hospitals, schools and compounds have all collapsed. When (we) saw the helicopter coming to our village, everyone was really happy because (we) are getting some supply, tarps and biscuits,” said Sherpa. “I really want to thank (you) all over the world for helping Nepal.”
In addition to the UH-1Y Huey, at its peak the fleet of capabilities deployed to Nepal in support of JTF 505’s Operation Sahayogi Haat included: the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Contingency Response Group, U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, U.S. Marine MV-22B Ospreys and KC-130J Hercules aircraft, various ground and aviation command and control assets, as well as more than 900 personnel supporting from bases located in Nepal, Thailand and Japan.