USAID/SAR TFs Deployed To Türkiye Earthquakes

L.A. Firefighters Deploy for Search and Rescue Mission in Türkiye, Syria

Search and Rescue loaded aboard transport plane.

Units include:
Virginia Task Force 1: Virginia Task Force 1 - International Urban Search and Rescue (

I’ve seen uniforms with American county and parish devices in some photographs and videos, at large, 'tho these might be members of the composite TFs…?


X-Code Tells The Tail, examples of x-code from Katrina: X-Code Tells The Tail. This photo-essay of Katrina Operations… | by Don Lindsay | Feb, 2023 | Medium

Image by Jeff Alderdice

X-Code is how structures are typically marked in a disaster. It would be difficult to read these markings in an unknown language. It’s critical that the Task Forces operate with people who know Turkish symbology.


Update Feb 20: Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks to USAID Urban Search and Rescue Team, Recent M 6.4 Aftershock in Hatay

Update Feb 19: Turkiye, not Turkey, AFAD #32, AFAD FAQ

In June 2022, the United Nations agreed to change the spelling of the country known in the English-speaking world as Turkey to Türkiye, heeding a request by the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In January 2023, the U.S. State Department also agreed to adopt the requested change in its written communications.

AFAD’s FAQ links to a structure report that is timing out. Interested to see it 5x5 (and https:).

Update Feb 16: Remember Proteo, AFAD #30

Voice of America (VOA): USA-1(VA-TF1), USA-2(CA-TF1), debarking at Incirlik Air Base

USA-1 and USA-2 photos:
USAID Facebook
VA-TF1 Twitter
LACoFD Facebook
CA-TF1 Twitter

AFAD press:

PRESS BULLETIN-30 about the Earthquake in Kahramanmaraş

Two earthquakes measuring 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale took place in Pazarcık and Elbistan, Kahramanmaraş on February 6, 2023. A total of 3,170 aftershocks occurred.

According to initially available information from SAKOM, 31, 974 people have lost their lives in Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis and Malatya and Elazığ. 195,962 people have been evacuated from quake-hit areas.

249,089 search and rescue workers from AFAD, JÖAK, DİSAK, PAK, Gendarmerie, DAK, Ministry of National Defense, UMKE, Ambulance staff, Fire Department, Ministry of National Education, Güven, NGOs, Volunteers, Security Units and Local Support Teams. A total of 9,456 teams from countries have contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to offer assistance and have been deployed to earthquake areas.

A total of 12,235 vehicles, including construction equipment including excavators, tractors, cranes, dozers, trucks, water tenders, trailers, graders and vacuum trucks have been deployed to the affected areas.

40 governors and more than 158 Local Authority and 68 provincial directors and 19 AFAD top directors have been assigned to disaster areas. In addition, 13 ambassadors and 17 personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were assigned to the region for the coordination of international aid.

An air bridge has been built for the deployment of personnel and equipment. A total of 4,214 sorties have been made with 170 helicopters and 76 aircraft from The Air, Land and Naval Forces, the Gendarmerie, the Coast Guard, the Turkish Police, the Ministry of Health and The Directorate General of Forestry.

A total of 26 ships, 24 ships by the Naval Forces, and 2 ships by the Coast Guard Command were employed to deliver personnel and materials to the affected area.

Disaster Sheltering Group

A total of 2,607,390 blankets and 227,762 medical tents and 48,271 containers were sent to the 10 quake-hit provinces from AFAD, The Turkish Red Crescent and the Ministry of Family and Social Services and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Disaster Nourishment Group

The Turkish Red Crescent, AFAD, the Ministry of National Defense, the Gendarmerie, Humanitarian Relief Foundation and foundations of Hayrat, Beşir and İnisiyatif sent 334 mobile kitchens, 86 catering vehicles, 33 mobile ovens and 330 service vehicles to the quake-hit areas.

20,860, 140 units of hot meal, 4,468,325 units of soup, 15,488,606 liters of water, 21,983,609 pieces of bread, 10,256,637 treats and 2,007,607 units of beverage were distributed to the quake-hit areas.

Disaster Psychosocial Support Group

4 mobilized Social Service Centers are charged in Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye, and Malatya provinces. 3,682 officers and 993 vehicles have been sent to the region. A total of 256,605 people, 221,651 in the quake-hit zone and 34,954 outside the affected areas were provided with psychosocial support.

We are following all the updates.

Respectfully announced.


(Extra edits :+1:)
More sat imagery and aftershock tracking: Copernicus, Maxar, BBC, NBC, …
Verticals. 2023 Turkey (Turkiye) earthquakes… | by Don Lindsay | Feb, 2023 | Medium

Security in Hatay:
As of Feb 11, Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit (AFDRU), with security provided by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), have resumed operations.

Reuters has this statement by ISAR and Germany’s Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) on progress securing areas under Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD).

ISAR Operations Manager Steven Bayer said the security situation was slightly deteriorating as the days since the disaster wore on and this was typical in such circumstances.

“That’s partly due to the fact that food is now running out, water supply is running out, and then people are out searching for food and water,” he said, speaking at a camp for rescue workers in the town of Kirikhan.

“A second thing is that the hope that people had is now increasingly fading, and that hope can then also turn into anger.”

Bayer earlier told Reuters that the group would remain in the joint camp with the THW for the time being, adding however that the organizations would be immediately ready to help if there are any indications of survivors.

Türkiye is going to extraordinary lengths to not simply hand it all over to TAF, in accordance with a mandate established after the Istanbul quake of 1999.

ISAR USA-2 using a listening device in Adiyaman. Image via the LA Times.

“It’s a heavy responsibility, but we will go to these houses and say, ‘I would sleep here.’ Offering people that peace of mind is a big deal.”

  • Joshua Svensson

“A lot of it is ghost stories at this point…often people just want closure…I’d do the same.”

  • Jason Vasquez

By the time darkness fell, the squads had surveyed no fewer than 1,500 buildings and went back to base.

Just a few hours later, though, came a call to a six-story building with potentially dozens of people inside…
L.A. search-and-rescue team on the ground in Turkey - Los Angeles Times (