The 18th Airborne and Ft Bragg are in Haiti! - DoD Roundtable
The soldiers in the XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft Bragg were the go to force as soon as the earthquake in Haiti occurred. During this super roundtable Col. Dick Kuehl and Col Ken Dyer gave a great report on their team’s efforts at Ft Bragg (and Pope AFB)to assist the Haitian people.
Col Kuehl is the G-1 who was responsible for aiding SOUTHCOM with filling critical personnel needs in addition to the Global Response Force that were specially requested by the Joint Task Force commander on the ground for the disaster relief and humanitarian assistance (i.e., linguists, mortuary affairs, engineers, etc.).
Col. Ken Dyer is the acting G-4. The logistics piece, like the personnel piece, is a delicate balance of identifying where the equipment and supplies that the JTF commander needs on the ground are against what we have here and/or across the Army or if we have to resort to purchase over the counter. He can also speak about the process to determine how and when supplies and equipment could be delivered. (US Army email)
Ft Bragg has sent 3,100 soldiers to Haiti during the initial relief efforts and continues to provide resources. They sent $3,000,000 worth of medical supplies; a Brigade Combat Team (BCT) was deployed by air and 250 vehicles left last night by rail for Jacksonville, FL and is being loaded now for delivery by barge now that the Haitian ports are more capable. Since the start of the “Unified Response’ Operation in Haiti the team at Pope AFB and Ft Bragg have loaded and deployed 79 C-17 sorties and 54 C-130 sorties of soldiers, equipment, relief rations and medical supplies. The colonels said the “Air Force did yeoman work” to get their soldiers and equipment into Haiti. The Army’s heavy equipment riggers have prepared 84 CDS (Container Delivery System) bundles of water for airdrop and 64 CDS bundles of rations from C-17 aircraft.
The Col Kuehl said that service operations went from individual service focus years ago; to joint efforts; to multi agency efforts with US AID, etc and multi national groups now. The 18th has a civil affairs team working with international groups including non governmental organizations and other government agencies as well. In addition, there are now 14 Army installations involved including all three Army components – Active, Guard and Reserve.
When asked about sustainment of the efforts and need for medical supplies they said a C-17 left this morning with eight additional pallets of medical supplies. The 18th Public Affairs Officer, Lt Col Harper, commented that it has been an “incredible operation” with donations from the surrounding community and that the “soldiers and airmen are working around the clock”. With 40% of Ft Bragg deployed Col Kuehl asked for continued support of the military community and in particular for their families!
Thank you to DoDLive and Army Public Affairs for making these soldiers available to tell us more about the Haiti relief operations at Ft Bragg and Pope AFB.
For the latest reports on DoD efforts in Haiti please go to the following MilitaryAvenue Article: Index of the US Military Response (chronologically listed).
To see a transcript of the Roundtable and/or listen to an audio please go to DoDLive.
Photo Credit: Spc. Brent Nailor of the 82nd Airborne Division 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, passes out packaged meals to women and children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010. The squadron established a forward operating base at an abandoned and damaged country club near the U.S. embassy. Photo Credit: Fred W. Baker III
Photo Credit: Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, pass out meals to women and children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010. The squadron established a forward operating base at an abandoned and damaged country club near the U.S. embassy. A survivor camp of thousands. Photo Credit: Fred W. Baker III