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History Division
Quantico, Virginia

Selected Humanitarian Operatons

June 1970, Peru:

32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) (Company A, Battalion Landing Team 1/2 and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365) provided assistance to the victims of an earthquake in Peru by transporting medical teams to remote areas, transporting victims to medical facilities and delivering more than 55 tons of relief supplies.

September 1970, California:

Marine Corps personnel provided assistance to local firefighters amidst a series of brush fires in San Diego County.

September 1970, Philippines:

3d Marine Division (3d MarDiv) Marines set up water purification units to aid victims of Typhoon Georgia in Quezon City.

October 1970, Philippines:

Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 164 and a detachment from Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/9 conducted relief operations and delivered over 65 tons of supplies in response to Typhoon Joan.

October 1970, South Vietnam:

1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) helicopters performed rescue and relief operations for over 9,000 South Vietnamese in response to a typhoon.

February 1971, California:

3d MAW Marines assisted earthquake victims by providing and delivering food and supplies.

July 1972, Philippines:

HMM-165 evacuated 2,000 Filipinos and flew in 350 tons of relief supplies in response to a typhoon.

March 1973, Tunisia:

Marine helicopters from USS Forrestal rescued or relocated 729 persons and moved 27 tons of cargo in response to flooding.

December 1973, Tunisia:

Marine helicopters from USS Iwo Jima conducted refugee rescue, equipment deliveries, and other flood-associated missions.

August 1974, Philippines:

31st MAU provided assistance in response to flooding.

September 1979, Caribbean and Florida:

Aircraft from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, and 4th Force Service Support Group (FSSG) Marines provided reconnaissance and logistical support, assistance in support of the disaster control center and evacuated at least 60 civilians after Hurricane David.

October 1980, Algeria:

Marine helicopters provided assistance to victims of an earthquake in Al Asnam, Algeria.

February 1983, Lebanon:

Marines in Lebanon performed snow removal, distributed food and heating fuel, gave medical assistance and rescued four men suffering from frostbite and exposure after a severe snow storm.

September – October 1988, Wyoming:

Marine Air-Ground Task Force-5 (MAGTF) (2 battalions of 5th Marines) provided aid to firefighters during Joint Task Force (JTF) Yellowstone.

September – October 1989, South Carolina:

8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) and a detachment from an Marine Heavy Helicopter (HMH) squadron provided medical assistance, road clearing, power supply, transmission line hook-up and water purification to victims of Hurricane Hugo.

October 1989, California:

A 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) detachment and a Marine Aircraft Group 42 (MAG-42) detachment provided disaster relief ranging from crowd control in the port area, rescue efforts at the collapsed overpass, flying damage inspection tours and general clean up to victims of the San Francisco earthquake.

July 1990, Philippines:

MAGTF-4-90 and 13th MEU assisted in search and rescue missions and emergency relief operations to victims of an earthquake. Marines conducted 313 sorties, lifted 627,000 pounds of cargo and flew more than 1,800 persons in Baguio City, Cabanatuan.

September 1990, Philippines:

MAGTF-4-90 responded to victims of torrential downpours and mudslides, which blocked roads causing Marines to lift 98,600 pounds of food and clothing, evacuate 447 villagers and conduct 6 medevac extractions from 24 isolated villages and Baguio City.

April – July 1991, Turkey and Iraq:

24th MEU, Contingency MAGTF-1-91 and elements of II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) and III MEF coordinated multinational relief efforts to establish refugee camps, and provide food and security to thousands of Kurds during Operation Provide Comfort.

May – June 1991, Bangladesh:

III MEF staff, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and CMAGTF-2-91 provided tons of relief supplies using helicopters, C-130s and landing craft following Cyclone Marian during Operation Sea Angel.

June 1991, Philippines:

MAGTF-4-90, 15th MEU and 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, provided security augmentation, heavy equipment support, clean-up, medical and generator support as well as food and water and evacuated over 21,000 US troops (and dependents) after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo during Operation Fiery Vigil.

November 1991 – June 1993, Haiti and Cuba:

Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo provided humanitarian aid, aided the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in screening migrants and constructed a tent city during Operation Safe Harbor.

April 1992, Italy:

HMM-266 carried over 200,000 pounds of concrete slabs to alter the course of lava after Mount Etna erupted.

May – June 1992, Chuuk Island, Micronesia:

Supplied water to drought stricken island of Chuuk during Operation Water Pitcher.

August – October 1992, Florida:

Elements of II MEF and 4th MarDiv provided two tent cities, field kitchen facilities, water purification units and storage tanks after Hurricane Andrew.

August – September 1992, Guam:

Elements of 1st MEB provided potable water, restored power, reestablished communications, transportation and general clean-up after Typhoon Omar.

August 1992 – February 1993, Somalia:

I MEF detachment provided food and other relief supplies to the famine and drought stricken areas of Somalia during JTF Provide Relief.

September – October 1992, Hawaii:

Elements of 1st MEB assisted in massive clean-up and reconstruction efforts conducted by JTF Garden Isle after Hurricane Iniki.

August – October 1994, Rwanda and Uganda:

15th MEU Marines provided heavy lift support for the Rwandan relief effort in Operation Support Hope.

September 1996, Guam:

Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MarForPac) Marines provided shelter, care, security and other humanitarian assistance to Kurdish refugees. 

January 1997, California:

Company B, 4th Landing Support Battalion Marines aided the American Red Cross and residents after the San Joachine River flooded.

September – October 1998, Puerto Rico:

2d FSSG, Company L, 3d Battalion, 6 Marines, HMM-461 and Combat Service Support Detachment 61 (CSSD) provided disaster relief in support of FEMA after Hurricane Georges in vicinity of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads.

November 1998, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala:

Elements of 2d FSSG and 8th ESB provided relief assistance after Hurricane Mitch.

August – September 1999, Turkey:

26th MEU, consisting of BLT 3/8, HMM-365 and MEU Service Support Group 26 (MSSG-26), provided relief and medical assistance after a massive earthquake struck Turkey. 

January – March 2000, Venezuela:

Elements of II MEF provided emergency assistance and search and rescue capabilities after intense rains and subsequent flooding occurred in the district of Caracas and eight northern states in Operation Fundamental Response.

March 2000, Mozambique:

Elements of Marine Corps Forces Europe provided humanitarian assistance to relieve suffering due to higher than average seasonal rainfall, exacerbated by Cyclones Connie and Eline during Operation Atlas Response.

January-February 2005, Indonesia:

15th MEU (MSSG-15, BLT 1/1 and HMM-165) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a massive tsunami in Operation Unified Assistance.

September 2005, Gulf Coast USA:

Marines from multiple locations provide humanitarian assistance after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

November – December 2007, Bangladesh:

22d MEU, 3d MEB and 11th MEU brought air, sea and medical capabilities to Bangladesh in response to Cyclone Sidr in Operation Sea Angel II.         


Reference Branch

USMC History Division 



Marine Corps University