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Marines eligible for humanitarian medal for typhoon relief

Jul. 7, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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Marine Sgt. Patrick Wros helps Filipino service members organize relief supplies in 2012 following Typhoon Pablo. Wros and other Marines who assisted with relief efforts in the Philippines could be eligible for the Humanitarian Service Award. (Cpl. Matthew Manning / Marine Corps)
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Humanitarian Service Medal (Steve White / Air Force)

Marines who assisted with relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Pablo in 2012 may be eligible for a Humanitarian Service Medal, according to a Marine Corps administrative message released on Monday.

The typhoon made landfall Dec. 3, 2012, on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines. It was one of the strongest cyclones to ever make landfall, and left more than 600 people dead.

To be eligible, Marines must meet the following criteria:

■ Deployed to the Philippines between Dec. 8-15.

■ The deployment had to be related to Typhoon Pablo.

■ Performed humanitarian assistance while there.

Days after the typhoon, members of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade established a forward command element in the Philippines, according to a Marine Corps news release. The command element coordinated relief efforts with members of the Philippine armed forces.

Members of Japan-based Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 began delivering food and other supplies to areas in the Philippines hit hardest by the storm. Over an eight-day period, the squadron flew more than 750,000 pounds of relief supplies via KC-130J Hercules transport planes, according to the release.

The Marine Corps also provided three water purification systems to the local military.

In order to be considered for the award, Marines’ participation in those types of efforts will have to be validated, according to Marine administrative message 332/14. The guidelines by which Marines should be identified for the award can be found in in the MARADMIN.

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