Haiti and the Military Response – DoD Roundtable

The Haitian crisis continues to receive world wide attention and the US military response continues to expand. We received an update during a Department of Defense (DoDLive) Bloggers Roundtable this evening with Lt General P. K. (Ken) Keen, Military Deputy Commander of US Southern Command providing an update on the disaster response. He has been designated Commander, Joint Task Force Haiti.

General Keen’s comments included praise for the efforts of the international community responding to the crisis! The general highlighted the efforts of the US Air Force airmen at the only international airport. They have taken over operations at the airport to expedite air traffic flow. General Keen described them as the “the best airmen in the world” and they were the first US military on the ground when 100 airmen from the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, FL arrived within 24 hours of the quake. Their team has improved the air flow from 13 flights a day before the earthquake to 180 flights (without one delay) today! They have established slot times, prioritized traffic flow with the government of Haiti, gone to 24 hour operations and have aircraft turned and offloaded in 2 hours or less.

But the general did not stop there but included the efforts of the US Coast Guard helicopter rescue crews and cutters for their fast response and life saving efforts. Today, the US military delivered 233,000 bottles of water; 148,000 rations, 12,000 pounds of medical supplies and 16 water purification plants. There are numerous field hospitals enroute to support the Israeli and Argentinian ones in place and the USNS Comfort hospital ship as well! The USS Bataan has arrived as has the USS Carl Vinson with their Marine and Navy helicopters. Currently, there are 1,400 US military on the ground in Haiti and 5,000 afloat on Navy and Coast Guard ships in Haitian waters. Gen Keen believes that the numbers will grow to 4-5,000 on the ground and 10,000 afloat.

Thank you to General Keen for taking his time to speak with us this evening during an impossible schedule and effort to focus on saving Haitian lives! General our thoughts and prayers are with you and the Haitian people!

Here are some additional articles on the military response to the humanitarian need in Haiti since the 7.0 earthquake struck last week:DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

Photo Credits:

Photo Credit: Airmen take the first step in providing relief supplies to Haiti Jan. 14, 2010, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Together, they loaded bottles of water and other relief supplies on a C-17 Globemaster III in support of Haiti humanitarian relief operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Russell)

byColonel KonMonday, January 18, 2010Military Life:,,

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