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Southland military units to aid in Pakistan flood relief

August 11, 2010 |  8:26 pm

Helicopters from a San Diego-based ship and Marines from Camp Pendleton are joining the flood relief effort in monsoon-struck Pakistan, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The 19 cargo-carrying helicopters are aboard the amphibious assault ship Peleliu and other ships in its strike group, now in international waters off Pakistan. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are aboard the same ships.

The Navy and Marine Corps helicopters will relieve six Army helicopters that have been bringing supplies to flood-stricken areas. The Peleliu strike group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit have been on a training mission in the Western Pacific.

"Pakistan is our friend and ally, and in their time of need, we're committed to partnering with their government and military," said Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of the U.S. Central Command.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: A CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter lifts off from the amphibious assault ship Peleliu.

Credit: Marine Corps