Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (second from right) speaks at Asia Pacific Roundtable.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (second from right) speaks at a roundtable discussion with ambassadors from Asia-Pacific nations. At right is Rep. Madeleine Bordallo of Guam.

WASHINGTON — At a roundtable discussion with ambassadors from Asia-Pacific nations on Nov. 13, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) and several of her colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee offered their condolences to Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia, and ensured him that the U.S. is here to help his country recover from Typhoon Haiyan.

“I am pleased we had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Cuisia during the Asia-Pacific Ambassador Roundtable today, to express our deepest sympathies to the people of the Philippines and ensure him that the U.S. Department of Defense will continue to offer assistance as they recover from this devastating, deadly storm,” Hanabusa said. “There is no question that the U.S. military is better equipped to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief than any force in the world, and our forward presence throughout the Asia-Pacific is what allowed our military to respond so quickly.

“Over the weekend, DoD dispatched around 100 Marines, a detachment of P-3 surveillance aircraft, and two C-130s to deliver food, water and generators to the Philippines.  Defense Secretary (Chuck) Hagel also announced that the USS George Washington Carrier Battle Group and two more ships, the USS Germantown and USS Ashland – which are already forward deployed in Saesbo, Japan – have been dispatched to help with relief efforts. This ability to help our allies in their time of need reaffirms the importance of why we must encourage collective disaster training throughout the region with our allies and other regional partners.”

The other ambassadors in attendance from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and Singapore also offered their condolences to Cuisia. The roundtable was part of the Asia-Pacific Oversight Series announced by Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Hanabusa earlier this month.

Hanabusa also spoke on the House floor, reiterating the U.S.’ support for the people of the Philippines:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) released the following statement on Wednesday: “As someone who spent much time in the Philippines, and has many friends who still live there, it is truly heart-breaking to see the devastation and loss of life caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Like many in Hawai‘i and around the world, I and my family are seeking the whereabouts of loved ones who live in Tacloban City and other devastated areas of the Philippines.

“I am praying for all those who have lost family and friends, and for those who continue to search for them in the aftermath of the storm. I encourage all those who are able to contribute to the recovery effort in any way they can.”

More information on recovery efforts in the Philippines can be found here.

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