The DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable was hosted by LT Jennifer Cragg with Lt. Gen. Charles E Stenner Jr, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and Commander of the Air Force Reserve Command responding to questions about the role of the Air Force Reserve in "Unified Response", the military name for the response to the Haitian crisis.
The Air Force Reserve has responded with key airlift and mobility resources such as the C-17, MC-130, C-130 and C-5 aircraft; aerial port facilities at Homestead Air Reserve Base in southern Florida; 158 different job skills including public affairs, security, maintenance, aerial porters; and is responding to requests for Aeromedical evacuation and combat rescue resources. The general said the biggest challenge for the Air Force Reserve is "sustaining tempo" in the light of other worldwide commitments. So far, the forces have all been volunteers responding to the tragedy with their hearts in the battle for those in Haiti. The President has authorized a Presidential call up for 200,000 Reserve forces (from seven service components) but the authority has not been used yet as the military leadership determines the best course of action.
General Stenner said that additional airstrips and drop zones were being studied and prepared in Haiti to expand the airflow capability to get additional humanitarian supplies into the country. The Air Force Reserve has delivered 650,000 pounds of cargo, moved 240 passengers into the theatre and brought 1,600 US citizens out of Haiti on their aircraft.
For the latest reports on DoD efforts in Haiti please go to the following MilitaryAvenue Article: Index of the US Military Response (chronologically listed).
If you would like to listen to the Roundtable please go to DoDLive for an audio transcript of the Roundtable.
Photo Credit: 01/18/2010 - A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft airdrops humanitarian aid into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and surrounding areas Jan. 18, 2010. The U.S. military is conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the country Jan. 12, 2010. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force/Released)