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U.S. sending more helicopters to help in Pakistan flood crisis

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN
  • U.S. is sending 4 more helicopters to Pakistan
  • The addition will make a total of 23 helicopters in Pakistan
  • Pakistani civilians are grateful for the aid, a U.S. military official says

Washington (CNN) -- The United States is sending four more helicopters and an amphibious ready group to Pakistan to increase the U.S. response to Pakistan's flood crisis, a U.S. military official said Wednesday.

By next week, at least 23 U.S. helicopters will be in Pakistan ferrying relief supplies and rescuing people in and around the Swat River valley in Northern Pakistan, according to Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, the deputy commander of the Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan.

Nagata spoke by satellite with reporters at the Pentagon. He said that Pakistani civilians have been "grateful" for the U.S. aid efforts in the aftermath of widespread flooding, which has left 1,589 people dead and 4 million people homeless.

He also remarked that even though about 230 U.S. forces are operating in one of the more unstable regions of Pakistan, there have been no security threats for the American troops in Pakistan since the relief effort began three weeks ago.