The U.S. military’s Joint Task Force 505 is winding down its emergency-response efforts in Nepal as the United States and partners around the world continue their efforts to help the mountain nation recover and rebuild in the wake of a devastating earthquake.

The United States deploys military resources as first responders in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters to fill the gap until civilian personnel and nongovernmental organizations can be mobilized.

Joint Task Force 505 launched Operation Sahayogi Haat (“helping hand” in Nepali) to save lives and reduce human suffering after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25.

During the operation, Joint Task Force 505 delivered about 114 tons of emergency relief supplies and supplemental food in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Along with aid deliveries, the task force transported 534 relief personnel and conducted 63 medical evacuations.

‎”We are grateful for the essential contributions of Operation Sahayogi Haat to the post-earthquake relief efforts,” said Peter Bodde, U.S. ambassador to Nepal. “The joint relief missions conducted by the U.S. and Nepalese militaries brought life-saving aid to those who needed it most and reinforced the United States’ close partnership with Nepal and its people.”

U.S. service members load relief supplies onto an aircraft in Nepal on May 17. (DOD)

Demand has decreased for Joint Task Force 505 capabilities in further recovery efforts, said Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Wissler, the task force’s commander.

“We will continue to work closely with our Nepalese partners and USAID to ensure we meet the needs that may emerge during the coordinated transition and retrograde of our military capabilities as long as we remain in Nepal,” Wissler said.

The Department of Defense and the Nepal military share a long history of cooperation. The U.S. military had set up an earthquake-resistant blood bank and emergency operation centers in Nepal before the April 25 quake.

As of May 19, U.S. humanitarian earthquake assistance to Nepal had reached nearly $47 million, including $32.5 million in funding from USAID and $14.3 million from the Department of Defense.

Despite the efforts of the international community, still more aid is needed. Visit this site for a list of organizations providing help to Nepal in its time of need.