The U.S. Coast Guard launched a C-130 airplane from Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005, to transport emergency supplies, including food, water and emergency medical supplies as well as Coast Guard personnel for humanitarian assistance to the citizens of South Asia.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel, who are from the Coast Guard Pacific Area Strike Team based in Alameda, CA., will make initial assessments of hazardous materials and conditions in several areas hit by the Christmas day Tsunami including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Maldives, Malaysia and Thailand.

The team also will determine clean-up requirements and what is needed for long term support for the affected regions.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro, also homeported out of Alameda, CA., also is en route to South Asia with teams prepared to assist with disaster relief efforts as part of the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group.

A statement from the U.S. Coast Guard says all personnel and materials being sent overseas are in support of a Department of Defense Joint Task Force that was set up to reduce any further loss of life and human suffering.

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