Navy delivers supplies to Mexico hours after deadly earthquake

SAN DIEGO — Naval supply specialists based in San Diego helped coordinate the delivery of more than 50,000 pounds of humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies to Mexico just hours after a deadly earthquake rocked the Mexican capitol and several surrounding states, the Navy announced Friday.

The 7.1-magnitude tremor hit about midday Tuesday, collapsing buildings, knocking out power and sending residents streaming into the streets on the 32nd anniversary of another deadly quake in central Mexico. More than 60 people have been rescued from the rubble of the collapsed structures, but the death toll Friday morning stood at 286, including 148 killed in Mexico City, 73 in the state of Morelos and 45 in Puebla state.

Shortly after the quake struck Tuesday, President Donald Trump ordered medical, water sanitation and hygiene supplies be delivered to the disaster area.

That order was executed by the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center in San Diego in collaboration with Project Handclasp and U.S. Northern Command, Navy officials said. Within hours, “48 pallets of disaster relief supplies were on the ground and in the hands of the Mexican people.”

“Very quickly after receiving the call, we were able to get the humanitarian aid identified, sorted, packed, banded and transported to the flight line for delivery,” said Craig Horton, director of the Integrated Logistics Support Department. “To lend a hand in helping a nation in their time of need was an incredibly important priority for us.”

The San Diego Fleet Logistics Center is one of eight of its kind and provides global logistics support for the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and other joint and allied military forces, Navy officials said. The organization is made up of more than 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide.

“In times like these, it is imperative to have the right supplies and capabilities on site in very short order,” NAVSUP Commanding Officer Capt. Michelle Morse said. “I believe we hit the mark, and I believe I speak for everyone on this team when I say it was an honor to be a part of that effort. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mexico as they navigate through this inconceivable tragedy.”

An engineer from the logistics center said the humanitarian effort showed the Navy isn’t just a fighting force.

“We are also ambassadors of goodwill between the United States and many other countries,” said Rich Monahan, an engineering division officer for the Integrated Logistics Support Department. We are a team of sailors and civil servants who care about our global neighbors.”