Following the catastrophic consequences of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria in the early hours of 6 FEB, Spain 'DEDALO 23' Air-Naval Amphibious Group - deployed in the Mediterranean since 16 JAN - set course for the Turkish coast, ready to provide support and humanitarian aid to the victims, under the control of the Operations Command.
The Group, commanded by Rear Admiral Gonzalo Villar, is part of Spain's contribution to maritime security in the Mediterranean and NATO's Deterrence and Defence and is built around the aircraft carrier 'Juan Carlos I', an embarked air unit composed of 'Harrier' AV8B+ aircraft and helicopters, a reinforced Marine Infantry Landing Battalion, the amphibious vessel "Galicia", the frigate "Blas de Lezo" and the combat supply vessel "Cantabria".
The group has different capabilities, such as conducting operations on the ground. The operations would be carried out by 500 Marines, who could assist in the distribution of humanitarian aid, debris removal, treatment, and evacuation of the wounded.
In their case, they have 12 trucks and 40 light vehicles to help the mobility of material and people, which could be used for evacuations of those affected. Transport helicopters aboard the vessels could also be used for this purpose, thanks to the battalion's capability to establish helipads in areas that are difficult to access.
They could also provide accommodation in tents with electricity, showers, and dining facilities for 100 people.
Regarding food supply, the Marines would immediately provide victims with enough rations and bottled water to sustain 1,000 people for nine days.
In terms of health capability, in addition to a shore-based outpost, health care could be provided on-board the vessels, limited to the material and human means available at this stage.
The 'Juan Carlos I' and the 'Galicia', thanks to their capability to operate helicopters and landing craft simultaneously and their communications means, can act as a humanitarian hub and as a forward base and command post.
All these capabilities are backed up by the combat supply vessel 'Cantabria', whose capability to load material and diesel fuel would guarantee the continuity of operations for as long as needed.
The naval amphibious group 'DEDALO 23' is expected to arrive off the coast of southern Türkiye during the afternoon of Wednesday 8 FEB.