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Vol. I, Issue 5
                                      THE RESPONDER Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti story
Haiti: This is why I serve
by Capt. Nathan D. Broshear
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

  I'm often asked why I choos...
J T F -H a i t i m oni tor s
Naval civil affairs teams bring Haitians together
by Cpl. Bobbie Curtis             diligently to bring all
22nd Marine Ex...
Redeployers make safety number 1                                              Keeping personnel informed
Serve                               miraculously protected them            edge of the countries and cul-       ing care o...
Rubble                                        counterparts – but, they exchange few          their own security, without U...

USNS COMFORT, At Anchor- -Aircrewmen from the Helicopter Combat Squadron ‘Dragon Whales’ perform ...
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  1. 1. Vol. I, Issue 5 THE RESPONDER Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti story a ll t od u ty ca February 27, 2010 A i r m e n volunteer while here by Capt. Nathan D. Broshear 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) P O RT- A U - P R I N C E , Haiti -- Airmen from Air Forces Southern and Air National Guard units from Kansas, Tennessee and Connecticut are working around the clock to bring much- needed food, water, aid supplies and sustainment to military forces in Haiti while extending their duty day to reach out to the local community. In addition to their day- to-day duties, Airmen are working with search and recovery teams, assisting with A boat crew pulls alongside the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak as crewmembers aboard prepare to lift new road construction, the boat into its cradle. The Oak arrived in Port-au-Prince from Charleston, S.C., to assist with relief volunteering at the efforts for Haiti. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandyn Hill / USCG District 7) University of Miami Coast Guard helps to rebuild Haiti’s ports hospital near the airport and distributing donated by PA1 David Mosley nation’s capitol and the items to injured children. U.S. Coast Guard District Seven port. Within moments, “Airmen weren’t content P O RT- A U - P R I N C E , the harbor facilities had to ‘just do their job,” Haiti – An international crumbled to the earth- said Col. Dan Courtois, port is a crossroads of quakes onslaught. Piers commanding officer, culture, languages and crashed into the harbor, 24th Air Expeditionary international exchange. strewing shipping con- Group. “Our services It is a nation’s lifeline tainers across the water team organized to the world through its and sinking the port’s activities for people to imports and exports. cargo cranes and their volunteer their time ... On Jan. 11, the inter- vital link to the world. and the response has national port of Port- “Infrastructure is made been overwhelming.” au-Prince, Haiti, was up of nodes linking the Some 24thAEG members just this, Haiti’s life- economic system,” said are volunteering at the line to the world with Lt. Cmdr. Mark Shep- University of Miami 95 percent of the ports pard, a Coast Guard hospital set up just activity consisting of Maritime Transportation outside the airfield. The buoy chain splashes into the water as the crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard imports to the country. System Recovery Unit While there, Airmen Cutter Oak set the second buoy in Port-Au- The Port-au-Prince team member. “The distribute food and Prince harbor. The buoy was set to mark safe seaport was forever earthquake destroyed beverages, comfort water as ships approach the main terminal changed on Jan. 12, these nodes and brought patients and assist in pier. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offi- when a 7.0 magnitude the system to its knees.” maintaining the facility. cer 3rd Class Brandyn Hill / USCG District 7) earthquake rocked the Continued on page 5 Continued on page 5
  2. 2. Haiti: This is why I serve by Capt. Nathan D. Broshear 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) I'm often asked why I choose to be in the Air Force. Some people ask to start up conversation, others to be polite, and some genuinely wonder what compels Airmen to swear to support and defend the Constitution, put themselves in harm's way and deploy far from home. Most people who ask are looking for a one-word answer. They expect you'll simply say: adventure or flying, travel, education or some other military benefit. Usually, after about 20 seconds of explanation their eyes turn glossy as you struggle to capture the essence of what you do and why you do it -- all without using military jargon. I've been in Haiti since January and I know that when I return, people will ask me, "What did you see there? Are we really help- A Coast Guardsman from Port Security Unit 307 ing?" The answer to these questions is really the same answer to spends time with a Haitian girl during a humanitar- the question, "Why are you in the Air Force?" ian visit to an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. (U.S. Coast I've learned service has rewards greater than any paycheck, trip Guard photo by PA2 Eric J. Chandler / USCG District 7) abroad or educational degree. In it exist opportunities to be where a day -- so far, more than 3,000 times. others cannot, to stand where others will not, and to do what I hug a Haitian man as he tells me, "Without you, I would be people would do if only they could be where you are. dead ... thank you, America." I see the man again a few days later The rewards of serving aren't one-word answers; they're the and he greets me like we've known each other for years. All he tiny snapshots of humanity, dignity and kindness playing over asks is for me to take a picture with him - not for him to keep, but and over in the minds of Airmen who've ‘been there’. so I can take the picture home with me and tell others his story. These scenes of hope replay in my mind each night as I lie An Air Force nurse cries with a patient recovering in a clinic, down to sleep in my tent: not from pain, but because they would soon part. Later, the whole Airmen download thousands of pounds of life-saving food and ward -- every patient with life-threatening injuries--sings together water from aircraft that don't even shut off their engines. They're while nurses dance for them. done in minutes and begin working on the next aircraft - 24 hours Continued on page 6 Comfort delivers relief supplies can easily receive supplies,” Reyes said. The majority of the supplies were donated By Petty Officer 2nd Class Chelsea Kennedy the material is getting to the right places by non-governmental organizations, such USNS Comfort ashore, so the material will be best used and as Project Hope, committed to helping the USNS COMFORT, At Anchor – $2.5 distributed where its needed most,” said people of Haiti, and Comfort’s medical million in relief supplies were offload- Cmdr. Alan Reyes, logistics officer with staff wanted to ensure that those supplies ed Feb. 25 for distribution through- Task Group 41.8. “In working with the were going where they were most needed. out Haiti to help the local govern- joint task force leadership, we have located “Our medical staff has made site visits ment with earthquake recovery efforts. a warehouse that is approved by USAID to ensure that patient care is being pro- Task Group 41.8, which is leading Com- called the PROMESS warehouse which vided at those sites and that they are pro- fort’s humanitarian endeavors, coordinated is sponsored by the government of Haiti.” vided the material that they need as well,” the offload of the 120 pallets, consisting After the supplies reach the storage Reyes said. “We have also been able, on a of general pharmaceuticals, health kits, area, they will be sorted and redistrib- limited basis, to be able to provide some dressings for wounds, and other medical uted to those in need - many of whom of these supplies to medical facilities that supplies. These treatment items will ini- were patients treated aboard Comfort. are on the outer reaches of the island.” tially be cataloged at a storage facility and “The warehouse is near the airport In addition to NGOs, Comfort is work- then sent on to help land-based medical and is centrally located so medical fa- ing closely with other services in Operation treatment centers sustain follow-on care. cilities within the Port-au-Prince area, Unified Response, creating a flexible team “We are working hard to make sure that where most of the damage has occurred, Continued on page 5 The Responder is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday and Saturday THE RESPONDER Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti story ac al l to du ty for the Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen and Marines of JTF-Haiti. Commander JTF-Haiti Lt. Gen. P. K. (Ken) Keen Responder Staff: The editor can be reached at The Responder Command Senior Enlisted Advisor JTF-Haiti Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Espinal Editor Sgt. Richard Andrade office located in the LSA Dragon sustainment JTF-Haiti Public Affairs Officer Col. Billy J. Buckner Public Affairs Specialist Spc. A.M. LaVey tent, by phone: 797-7009 and or by email: JTF-Haiti Public Affairs Senior Enlisted Advisor Sgt. Maj. Sharon Opeka This newspaper is an authorized publication for the members of Joint Task Force-Haiti. Content of The Responder are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government. or the Department of Defense. The Responder is an unofficial publication authorized by Army Regulation 360-1. Editorial content is prepared, edited and provided by the Public Affairs office of Joint Task Force-Haiti. The Responder is an electronic newsletter distributed by the JTF-H PAO. All photos are Department of Defense unless otherwise credited.
  3. 3. J T F -H a i t i m oni tor s outlying towns’ growth by Spc. A.M. LaVey dren, walking home dur- XVIII Airborne Corps ing the afternoon lunch JEREMIE, Haiti – The break, are dressed in an deputy command- assortment of brightly- ing general, Joint Task colored school uniforms Force-Haiti, met with and there are noisy par- local non-governmen- rots squawking in the tal organizations and a forests of palm trees. U.S. Army civil affairs A civil affairs team team during a visit to from the 98th Civil Af- discuss the needs of the fairs Battalion, 95th recently-expanded com- Civil Affairs Brigade, munity here Feb. 23. U.S. Army Special Op- “One of the secondary erations Command, has effects of the earthquake been in Jeremie assess- is that people who lived ing the support network, in the large cities, like determining whether Port-au-Prince, are mov- or not it is adequate to An Army Special Forces medic treats patients at an improvised clinic ing in with their families meet the needs of the in Cap-Haitien, Haiti Feb. 22. The clinic operates out of the commu- who live in the outlay- growing community. nity gymnasium and is run by the local hospital with the help of many ing communities,” said The move from Port- volunteers and Army medics from the Joint Forces Special Operations Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Al- au-Prince “has benefitted Component Command. It is mainly used as an urgent care overflow for the local hospital. (U.S. Navy photo by MCC Robert J. Fluege) lyn, deputy command- the people in the short ing general, JTF-H. term, but in the long Special Operations teams leverage The coastal city of term you have to make diversity, creativity to complete mission Jeremie, in contrast to the urban life of Port- sure that there are sup- port networks in place, By Sgt. Tony Hawkins Joint Forces Special Operations tribute tents to most of to someone I hear, ‘I au-Prince, is alive and so that the increased Component Command the families that live knew you were one bathed in sunny pastels population in commu- P O RT- A U - P R I N C E , here,” said Capt. Mike of us!’ or ‘Look, she colors, deep greens, nities like Jeremie will Haiti –U.S. Special Op- [last name withheld], an even smiles like a Hai- and that special blend be taken care of,” said erations servicemem- Army civil affairs team tian,” Nimchie said. of azur that seems only Allyn. “Our team here bers are utilizing their leader. “We’re mak- The ability to speak to appear in the Carib- is working with NGOs diverse backgrounds ing sure the ones we do the language and under- bean Sea. School chil- and with the United Na- and skill sets to help a have go to the neediest stand the local culture Continued on page 6 non-governmental or- families first.” Mike ex- are invaluable skills, ganization deliver and plained that this means skills that she gets plen- set up nearly 100 tents families with small chil- ty of opportunities to use for Haitian citizens liv- dren, the elderly and any during her current mis- ing in a camp here. other families that didn’t sion in Haiti, she said. The distribution was have some kind of water- “I’m able to speak to a joint operation be- proofing, such as a large people to provide them tween the 82nd Air- plastic tarp or tin roof. with information and borne Division, a U.S. An operation such instructions during the Army Special Opera- as this, involving sev- distributions,” she said. tions Command civil af- eral dozen Soldiers and “People see me and rec- fairs team, and an NGO more than 100 Haitian ognize me as a Haitian, named Shelter Box, who citizens, was enhanced so it gets their atten- provided tents, which by the special skills tion. They feel com- can house 3-6 people. and talents exhibited by fortable talking to me, Also included with the U.S. Special Operations so I can find out their tents were blankets, a service members. Sgt. needs and relay them Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn receives a kiss from wood-burning stove, Nimchie, a member of to the commander.” a girl at a Jeremie maternity home. Allyn was food, and a basic wa- the civil affairs infor- Although she did pro- visiting Jeremie to make sure the commu- ter purification system. mation support team, is vide some information nity can handle those displaced by the Jan. “Shelter Box and our a native Creole speaker. to the members of the 12 earthquake the rocked the city of Port-au- team were able to dis- “Every time I speak Continued on page 6 Prince. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. A.M. LaVey) 3
  4. 4. Naval civil affairs teams bring Haitians together by Cpl. Bobbie Curtis diligently to bring all 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit these factors together CARREFOUR, Haiti – to help organize a com- Since the beginning of bined local and interna- Operation Unified Re- tional effort to stabilize sponse, one of the prima- the Caribbean nation. ry missions of the Navy “The mission of the and Marine Corps civil CMOC was to act as affairs teams, attached a bridge between the to the 22nd Marine Ex- people and the local peditionary Unit and government,” said Staff the Bataan Amphibious Sgt. Jerrick D. Cros- Ready Group, is to unite ton, a civil affairs team the people and govern- chief with 4th CAG ments of earthquake and the 22nd MEU. menaced Haiti together The CMOC is located with non-governmental in the town of Carre- organizations and in- four, just outside the ternational aid workers. nation’s capital city Chief Petty Officer Charlotte Reijo, a team leader with Maritime Civ- Using a facility called of Port-au-Prince, on il Affairs Team 207, meets with children from Carrefour, Haiti, Jan. a civil military opera- Landing Zone Argonaut, 18. Navy and Marine civil affairs specialists are conducting opera- tions center, Marines a small encampment op- tions in Carrefour. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Bobbie Curtis) from 4th Civil Affairs erated by the Marines At the facility, civil many of the one million Carrefour, transferring Group, attached to the and sailors of Battal- affairs personnel met strong population of Car- the primary role of pro- 22nd MEU and sailors ion Landing Team, 3rd with town leaders and refour have strong loyal- viding humanitarian aid, from Maritime Civil Af- Battalion, 2nd Marine NGO officials to plan ty to a few key leaders in from the U.S. Military fairs Team 207, worked Regiment, 22nd MEU. distributions and com- the community, who are to the Haitian local and bined operations for the mostly pastors from local national governments. people of the local area. religious organizations. The civil affairs person- “As local Haitians and “After the earth- nel conducted the opera- organizations had needs, quake people looked to tion in multiple-steps, they brought them up them,” he added. “So beginning with an as- to the CMOC,” Cros- we brought the local sessment phase where ton, a Philadelphia na- leaders and the local the Marines and sailors tive, continued. “The government together.” found out what prob- major achievement of Bringing the local lead- lems were occurring in the CMOC was getting ers and their followers the area. Once problems the mayors [of Car- together with the Haitian were identified, the per- refour] and the local government and several sonnel worked with Hai- Children from Carrefour, Haiti, gather as lo- government to work NGOs, the Marines and tian leaders and NGOs cal leaders conduct a humanitarian aid dis- with the community sailors of the CMOC to solve the issues. tribution in the city, Feb. 18. (U.S. Ma- leaders of Carrefour.” streamlined the aid pro- “At this point we rine Corps photo by Cpl. Bobbie Curtis) Croston explained that cess for the people of Continued on page 7 Italians take lead in rubble removal Troops Battalion, 2nd mission would be much Brigade Combat Team, more time consuming by Pfc. Kissta Feldner 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division with a new load of organizations to access in addition to their if it weren’t for the fragmented concrete, it areas of Port-au-Prince continued work with addition of the Italians’ P O RT- A U - P R I N C E , snags a downed power in need of assistance, the Center of National large machinery. Each HAITI – Buildings lean line, causing loose as well as increase Equipment, to clear day the Italians will dangerously, looming bricks to fall from the traffic flow, open the the streets of the city. be introducing more over Soldiers in the structure above. This streets for vendors, The Paratroopers are equipment as the street below attempting scene is evidence of why and generally enhance using their loaders and mission progresses. to remove mounds of the engineering mission functionality of the city. Bobcat utility work “[The Italians] have debris, the remains of here is so important. Soldiers from the Italian machines to remove better assets,” said Sgt. structures that have When the road is cleared, Task Force have teamed the massive amount of Robert Medders, an already crumbled. As it will become a safe up with Paratroopers rubble left by the Jan. Ackerman, Miss., native a tractor fills its bucket route for international aid with 2nd Brigade Special 12 earthquake. But, their Continued on page 7 4
  5. 5. Redeployers make safety number 1 Keeping personnel informed about stages of redeploy- careless accident during rede- ployment the following recom- Mr. Jesse Martin The JTF had a negligent dis- ment and probable changes mendations should enforced: JTF-H Safety charge and a vehicle accident in will enhance confidence. Your Appropriate supervision and One of the most dangerous the same day by the same unit, personnel must understand leadership for all missions. Per- times during deployment is two days prior to redeployment. that changes to the scheduled sonnel may become lackadaisi- when you are about to leave Leaders must recognize that events can occur at a mo- cal when it comes to equipment and go home. Redeployment is human nature and enthusiasm ments notice. Be patient, safe accountability, vehicle safety the preparation for and move- for going home may cause some redeployment of all personnel (speeding, seatbelts, ground ment of forces and materials personnel to become somewhat and equipment is a large part guides) and weapon safety. En- from one area to another. Our careless, while working on of overall mission success. forcing the standards and prop- goal is to maintain unit readi- short term missions and objec- Accident trends have shown er supervision will reduce this ness while safely move per- tives. Some become careless a spike in incidents during the hazard. Remember the mission sonnel, equipment, and sup- with everything from personal first and last 30 days of deploy- is not complete until we are plies back to home station. equipment to military weapons. ments. To mitigate the risk of a all back home safe and sound. Coast Guard Mexico, Columbia, France, tics,” said Brown. “We don’t and activity books and other continued from page 1 even know if all of the port children’s items were given to Cuba and the United States. The economic system that With all the vessels arriving managers are alive, and those patients in an EMEDS facility. brings supplies into the coun- to bring much needed supplies who are, are trying to take care The Airmen don’t know how try of Haiti directly revolves to help the people of Haiti, of their families while work- much longer they’ll be in Haiti around the port and its link to the port, which is an essential ing each day towards putting supporting the task force, but the world. This is where the system node, was still all but their country back together.” as long as there is an Air Force U.S. Coast Guard has stepped destroyed. Because of the de- Working together with the peo- presence, the commander in to help rebuild the broken struction and limited usability ple of Haiti, the crew of the Oak, intends to provide opportunities node that is the port and help of the port, there quickly be- combined with the expertise of for Airmen in the community. the system come back online. came a bottleneck in the system. the MTSRU, the ports of Haiti “Despite the workload here An integral part of the recov- While there was a continued are steadily coming back online. in Haiti, Airmen always ery of the port is the crew of focus on the port here through Volunteers seem to find time to ‘give a the Coast Guard Cutter Oak. . military and civilian joint op- continued from page 1 little more,” Courtois said. Working with a native port erations, recovery assist teams In addition to erecting tents, Comfort pilot and his knowledge of the teams made up of Coast Guard stringing lights and building continued from page 2 harbor, the crew of the Oak men and women from across the plumbing fixtures for Airmen placed four new buoys and U.S., started surveying small- at the Air Force encampment, that can best support USAID’s repositioned one to better pre- er port facilities throughout civil engineers are constructing coordinated relief activities pare the port for ship arrivals. Haiti in an effort to reduce the new roadways to redirect traffic with the Haitian government. “The crew has done an ex- bottleneck in Port-au-Prince. flow in front of the international “The supply department is cellent job,” said Cmdr. Mike “Overall the port infrastruc- airport. The site of the new moving cargo on to a land- Glander, commanding offi- ture is a lot better than ex- roads were little more than dirt ing craft alongside Comfort, cer of the Cutter Oak. “Many pected,” said Chief Petty Of- pathways until civil engineers and they will be taken ashore members of my crew have ficer [name withheld] Brown, took on the task to make these where the Army will take over told me that this is one of the Atlantic Area Strike Team and routes usable to vehicles. and put pallets onto flat bed most rewarding things that MTRSU member. “Although “These valuable new roads will trucks and transport them to they have personally done.” that doesn’t mean there are help to keep traffic moving in the the PROMESS warehouse, As more and more shipping not challenges to overcome.” congested area directly in front where the NGOs managing that started to arrive with supplies The port operations at the of the terminal,” Courtois said. warehouse can store and inven- to help the people, it quickly only surviving pier in the main Other Airmen are volunteering tory the material,” Reyes said. became clear that there was point of entry to Port-au-Prince for more somber tasks, The management of the a need for a coordination of came to a screeching halt Jan. assisting mortuary services movement of supplies, add- ship movement in the harbor. 26. Divers found that sup- teams in the recovery of human ed Reyes, is like working a Working together with the port legs of the pier had disap- remains and personal articles. symphony to ensure all the MTSRU, which is a team peared during the earthquake’s Teams have assisted in more pieces play the right part. uniquely designed for co- aftershocks, making the pier than 40 recoveries, helping with “It’s a great example of the ordinating the rebuild of a unstable and dangerous to use. the dignified transfer of remains coordinated efforts of all the maritime transportation infra- Further challenges have pre- to families and loved ones. different military units here in structure, the Oak became a sented themselves by the At the 24th Expeditionary Haiti,” Reyes said. units from floating traffic control center, fact that crews are work- Medical Squadron, Airmen are the U.S. Army. We are working orchestrating the movements ing in a foreign country. distributing items donated by in close affiliation with USAID of the many ships that were “With this being a foreign port, Air Force families in the United and the UN to make sure that ev- arriving from countries like it is hard to know local logis- States. Teddy bears, coloring erything is being coordinated.” 5
  6. 6. Serve miraculously protected them edge of the countries and cul- ing care of the population continued from page 2 from harm. tures of the island nations. and then they will determine People come together for the When I return home and I'm “This is my island,” he whether or not the systems are greater good. Airmen unload asked why I serve, I'll struggle said. “I know its history sustainable in the long term. airplanes from Venezuela, to communicate the sights and and understand the culture.” We try to identify and poten- China, Qatar, France, Brazil, sounds of hope that come with By providing better shelter to tial issues down the road,” Chile, Australia, Colombia, the privilege of being an Air- the families in the camp, the said Allyn. “That assessment Nicaragua, and dozens more. man. My storytelling will fall civil affairs team helped shift process is underway and we They salute every aircrew as short of putting a person where some basic priorities for people will make sure that we bring they depart, no matter what I've been. in the camps, so that residents this information back to Port- flag is on the jet's tail. I won't be able to conjure up can receive other aid by NGOs au-Prince, to ensure that there I stare in wonder at owls the sensory signals of mutual in the future. Doctors currently is a sustainable system here.” flying across a full flight line respect, trust and compassion have a longer term plan for the Jeremie, on the inside of the at 1 a.m. A private jet pulls in, that come from being there camp, which includes provid- southwestern coast of Haiti full of volunteers. They ask, when you're most needed. ing daily visits to treat any ill- derives most of its income "Where's the nearest hotel?" Why do I serve? The one- nesses or injuries, while other from fishing and shipping. The I point to a few tents and cots word answer: Haiti. NGOs regularly supply the economy here appears to not in the grass next to the tarmac. camp with food and clean water. have been directly effected by Special Operations They sleep outside and don't As the tents were passed out, the earthquake and most of the continued from page 3 mind a bit. and after a quick lesson by a few systems in the village appear to I hold a baby born just after camp, most of the instructions U.S. soldiers, Haitians began set- be functioning close to normal. the earthquake on board a were given to local citizens by a ting up the shelters on their own. “My sensing is, from talk- Navy hospital ship. The mother familiar face, the camp’s chief, The delivery of improved ing with the local NGO’s, is lost one leg and sustained with Nimchie in the background shelters allows for a smooth that while Jeremie does have multiple other injuries after assisting him. By receiving di- transition of aid distribution a bloated population – they are debris fell on her, yet the baby rections from someone the peo- for people living in this Port- not facing an imminent crisis,” is healthy...and all mom wants ple already know and trust, the au-Prince camp, which is now said Allyn. “It is important to to talk about is how happy she distribution of the tents went very close to being turned note though, that the people is to be home again. orderly and without incident. over to NGOs for contin- are drawing upon their food A family huddles under a tarp During the distribution, medi- ued humanitarian assistance. reserves and if we don’t rein- held up by sticks on a median cal personnel from a Latin force their network, they will between traffic lanes. They're American NGO arrived to pro- Jeremie have a problem in the future.” vide treatment to the camp’s continued from page 3 “We will continue to work cooking rice and beans from a huge sack marked "A gift citizens. Staff Sgt. Hansel, the tions security forces to ensure to ensure that there is a col- from the people of the United civil affairs team sergeant and a that networks are connected.” laborative approach to taking States of America." They look native of the Dominican Repub- The civil affairs team is speak- care of the sudden influx of up, smile and give us a big lic, used his Spanish language ing with the local leaders population,” said Allyn. “We "thumbs-up" as we drive by. skills to coordinate operations and the local security forces will finish our assessment I hear my family on the between the NGOs and his team. - both the Haitian National and make sure that the com- phone saying, "I'm proud of Growing up so close to Haiti, Police and the U.N. forces. munity has a self-sustaining you...." Hansel came back to Hispan- The team is also working with network in place, that will be I give an MRE to someone iola with a working knowl- the NGOs that have been tak- kept going after we are gone.” who's never had one, and likely hasn't eaten all day. When the first commercial flight arrives in Port-au-Prince, Haitian families reunite a month after the earthquake. Tears of joy stream down their faces as they embrace. A nurse tells me about a Hai- tian baby boy born on board the U.S.S. Carl Vinson....the mother names him "Vincent." A woman stands atop the mountain of rubble that was once her home. She points out where she and her son were when the earthquake hit, then PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A herd of cows meanders through the streets here. explains how a fallen door (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen B. Roach / XVIII Airborne Corps) 6
  7. 7. Rubble counterparts – but, they exchange few their own security, without U.S. assistance. continued from page 4 words. This is not due to hard feelings or The Italians have everything they need to and engineer with 2 BSTB, while working lack of interest in one another, but because do this job on their own, Rodriguez said. with the Italian soldiers, Feb. 17. “Their neither speaks the others’ language. “These guys are outstanding,” Medders said. equipment has come in handy,” Medders said. Italian army 1st Cpl. Giuseppe Colletto, “They have a good understanding of what’s Additional soldiers with 2nd Battalion, an engineer, said at times it is difficult going on here and they’ll get the job done.” 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2 BCT, communicating with the American But as an airborne infantry unit, the have been securing the site, roping off soldiers due to the language barrier and capabilities of the 2BCT engineers streets and stopping curious locals from lack of interpreters, but they have had are limited “Our light engineers are entering the hazardous area. In the few no problems completing their mission. incredibly skilled,” said Lt. Col. Tim days they have partnered with the Italians, Colletto said he is used to overcoming Kehoe, deputy commanding officer, the troopers are impressed with their work. this obstacle after working with U.S. 2 BCT, “but their light equipment is “They’re good at what they do,” said Sgt. troops in Afghanistan, but for some of the not designed for this type of mission.” 1st Class Ernest Rodriguez, a Camden, N.J., 2nd BCT Paratroopers this partnership The introduction of Italian soldiers and native and platoon sergeant of 2nd platoon, is a completely new experience. “It’s equipment has made the difference in D Co., 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne cool working with another country,” said the rubble removal and street clearing Infantry Regiment, 2 BCT. “They’re pretty Medders. “Everyone works a bit different.” mission, but there is still much work to be much doing it all on their own,” he said. The Paratroopers are showing the Italians done. “We are filling the gap in support A 2nd BCT trooper stands with a group how to coordinate with CNE, the United of CNE until the right elements arrive of Italian soldiers, taking a break from Nations and local police so they can pull to complete this mission,” says Kehoe. their work as the dust settles. They share a cigarette and swap unit patches – a custom that has become common among soldiers while working with their foreign Team continued from page 4 have transitioned the role of the CMOC to the Haitian government and are back in the assessment phase,” Cros- ton explained. “We are making sure the needs are being taken care of.” Capt. Rebecca A. Popleiski, a civil af- fairs team leader with 4th CAG and the 22nd MEU, said the group of civil af- fairs specialists have come a long way in the month they have worked in Haiti. The Marines began their operations in the towns of Petite Goave, Grand Goave and Leogone before moving to Carrefour. Those three areas had less involvement with community leaders and worked more specifically with NGOs, where as the Car- refour area of operations had a lot more grass-roots involvement, she explained. “When we pull out of here, all the cit- ies are going to be able to stand on their own,” Popleiski, the Washington, D.C., native explained. “Whether that’s local government or national government ... they have stepped up and taken charge.” With the aid of the Navy - Marine Corps civil affairs teams from the 22nd MEU and Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, the gov- ernment of Haiti has taken primary respon- sibility for humanitarian aid distributions in the Carrefour area. The Marines and sailors from the 22nd MEU have become a supplementary force as the Haitian Coast Guard and international NGOs take over. A heavy equipment operator removes rubble from the streets of Port-au-Prince. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen B. Roach / XVIII Airborne Corps) 7
  8. 8. POSTCARDS FROM HAITI USNS COMFORT, At Anchor- -Aircrewmen from the Helicopter Combat Squadron ‘Dragon Whales’ perform an ear- ly morning, pre-flight inspection on an MH-60S Sea hawk helicopter on the flight deck here. Comfort is an- chored off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in support of Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Jackson) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Sgt. Maj. Louis Espinal, senior enlisted advisor, Joint Task Force-Haiti, congratulates a young Paratroop- er from the 82nd Airborne Division here Feb. 26. 30 82nd Paratroopers raised their hands in a mass re-enlistment presided over by PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A child, standing outside a camp near Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn. (U.S. Army photo the airport, smiles for the camera here Feb. 25. (U.S. Army pho- by Spc. A.M. LaVey / XVIII Airborne Corps) to by Staff Sgt. Stephen B. Roach / XVIII Airborne Corps) 8