They’ve braved everything from enemy fire to flood waters. Now the members of Team Rubicon face their latest challenge: the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Operation: Seabird kicked off when Team Rubicon’s first fifteen volunteers landed in the Philippines earlier this week.
While the initial reports of damage were still trickling in, Team Rubicon was already mustering personnel and resources, preparing to send a team into the hardest hit region. Shortly after arriving, the team put their military training to work at a makeshift clinic run by Mammoth Military Missions. Together, the volunteers have performed a number of life-saving evacuations and operations — sometimes by flashlight.
Team Rubicon field journalist Kirk Jackson described his initial impressions in a brief update on the Team Rubicon blog: “Once there, the light-hearted banter that had kept us awake ceased. Before us stood both the skeletal remains of an airport and hundreds of locals seeking to be counted as the lucky few who get a spot on outgoing planes.”
Undeterred by the overwhelming damage and the shortage of crucial supplies, these veterans refuse to slow down. Since the initial presence landed, Team Rubicon has established support and logistics in Manila, and staff in the United States continue to raise support, awareness, and volunteers to sustain their operations in the Philippines into the foreseeable future.
You too can help support their life-saving efforts:
Top: Former U.S. Army combat medic Kate Oliver first encounters the severity of the conditions she’s prepared for after stepping off a C-130 in Tacloban, (credit: Team Rubicon); Bottom: A volunteer packs in preparation of search-and-rescue efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, (credit: Team Rubicon)