Saturday, January 16, 2010

Joint Task Force Haiti--U.S. Military SouthCom Command

This is primarily from the U.S. Department of Defense site. They have a rolling run of good pictures, too. The one below is a shot from the USS Carl Vinson, off Haiti, where helicopters are loading up with water.

After reporting everything is going to hell on Friday, the journalists all look like they've gone home for the weekend.  But maybe that's for the best. Let the people of good will get on with the work, unobstructed by cameras.

From the American Forces Press Service, plus comments of my own:
--Army Lieutenant General P. K. "Ken" Kean iis the commanding officer, with 4200 personnel on the ground and another 6300 ready to be staged in. They are working with the U.N. MINUSTAH force. Even if MINUSTAH's offices and communications are down, those forces will have a lot of insider knowledge. It's also going to be important to bolster MINUSTAH so that U.S. forces will be able to exit with a strong stabilization force still in place. Working together will lessen the problems of MINUSTAH authority later. I do notice that nobody is talking about working for or with the Haitian government. I'm wondering where they are.

--They opened the airport for 24/7 use. It can handle 90 flights per day. That's 90 relief flights, provided no movie stars or politicians require entrance to moan for the cameras or piss and moan about special treatment behind the cameras. Watch for this!!

One aircraft carrier and one navy destroyer are in close waters. The aircraft carrier is coordinating helicopter runs. Also coming to Haiti's offshore, the USS Comfort, which is a shipboard medical facility with surgical theatres and limited beds. The Navy expects they will be needed in Haiti for at least six months. The amphibious ships USS Carter Hall, USS Fort McHenry, USS Underwood and USS Normandy also are en route to Haiti. The main port is dysfunctional, and mostly destroyed" according to earliest reports. They'll probably fix that to get supplies and personnel in, and it will be functional for later trade as Haiti rebuilds.

Troops: I imagine this will be partial information, but it's the best I can do. if you know more, send it in and I'll add it in.
--100 troopers from the 82nd Airborne came in on the 14th.
--The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard the amphibious ship USS Bataan and composed of more than 2,200 Marines arrived in Haiti on Jan. 18 with heavy-lift and earth-moving equipment and additional medical-support capabilities. They're recently back from deployment in Iraq. While we are praying for Haiti, we need to pray for them too.
--The West Virginia Air Guard is running a staging depot for supply.
--South Carolina is also a staging ground.

Other U.S. Agencies:
VATF-1 and CATF-2, as well as other response teams from our local rescue forces, mobilized through FEMA.

Disaster Mortuary Teams have been sent in, a very tough job and in terrible conditions.

Anyone who knows more, please send it in.

Thank you for being the hands, the minds, and the face of the American people during this tragedy.

We could not ask for better.


The Observer said...

Ann T

The journos should just leave and not come back. They suck up food, water, and airspace.

Just sayin'

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
Whoa!!! LOL!

I'm getting some things from them, but I wish they were slinging water and shoveling rubble instead of inciting people to riot. And the Airspace, now that really Is bad too.

Ann T.

The Observer said...

Hi Ann T!

Yikes, I need a better editor! There was supposed to be more to that sentence, like "...until the victims' immediate life saving needs are met and the majority of assets for rescue are in-country."

The basic complaint still stands.

It was good to see reports of aid reaching people today, from CNN and the NY Times.

Maybe a pool of reporters, sharing filming and reporting duties? Leave the anchors and pundits at home...

An apologetic Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
You're cracking me up. I've done it myself.

Ann T.