WASHINGTON – Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter called off his scheduled three-day trip to Colombia in order to focus on preparing a response to Hurricane Matthew’s passage through the southeastern coast of the United States.
Carter suspended the visit that was to include the cities of Bogota and Cartagena at a significant moment in Colombia following the win of the “No” vote in the referendum that sought public approval for the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group.
The U.S. defense secretary met with National Guard chief, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, and Commander of the Northern Command Gen. Lori Robinson, to study responses to the cyclone’s onslaught.
The Pentagon has ordered the evacuation of several military bases across the southeastern coast of the United States in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and moved aircraft to the west in a bid to prevent damage from strong winds and floods.
The U.S. Armed Forces, particularly the National Guard, are also being mobilized to help out in the rescue operations and containment of the fallout of the hurricane.