Haiti Naval Task Force Commander - DoD Roundtable
The DoD Blogger Roundtable hosted U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Carrier Strike Group One aboard USS Carl Vinson off the coast of Port-au-Prince to discuss the overall naval effort to Operation Unified Response-Haiti. Admiral Branch said the effort of the sailors and marines has been outstanding and that they felt that it was “important work” and they did “make a difference in peoples’ lives”. He felt that it was “heartwarming” for those making contact with the Haitians to see their response and appreciation.
The ships engineer groups have been able to assist with infrastructure problems such as generators, wells, pumps, roads, etc to better provide resources and reduce the demand for supply in some cases. The Navy and Marines as of last night had flown 1,979 total sorties and 375 medevac missions with their CV-22s, CH-53, E-2s, C-2s and SH-60s. The Admiral’s Task Force has provided 1,182,300 pounds of relief supplies including 161 tons of food and 345,000 pounds of medical supplies since its arrival. The Marine CV-22s have taken on several missions including aerial reconnaissance, airlift of ground survey teams, medevacs and re-supply missions to Guantanamo Bay and back. Their higher speed and range allow them flexibility in the mission choices.
When queried about the length of the mission the admiral said, “the Carl Vinson is here till relieved”. He felt that their lessons learned made each better than the previous one and that the process on the ground is better. Their coordination with the Non Governmental Organizations, the Haitian government, international partners and JTF Haiti determined the best places for distribution of relief supplies, developed better communications and provided continued improvement of day to day support for the Haitian people. He gave a large list of NGOs they were working with including numerous missions groups. He praised the medical staff of the USNS Comfort which has treated 1,427 patients and completed 93 surgeries with 346 patients currently on board.
This is a great story of international cooperation and the capabilities of military forces to provide relief during natural disasters. Thank you Admiral and the sailors and marines under your command!
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 listen to the Roundtable please go to DoDLive!
Photo Credits: 100126-N-8655E-675 GRAND GOAVE, Haiti (Jan. 26, 2010) Haitian citizens and Sailors assigned to the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) shovel rubble and debris from the roads in Grande Goave, Haiti. Bataan, along with amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) are supporting Operation Unified Response, providing military support capabilities to civil after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelvin Edwards/Released)
Photo Credits: 100125-N-5345W-267 GRAND GOAVE, Haiti (Jan. 25, 2010) Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Vilma Bauer, assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), examines a Haitian infant as her family looks on at the Lifeline Christian Ministries Mission medical clinic in Grand Goave, Haiti. Fort McHenry, along with the amphibious dock landing ships USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), and the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) are participating in Operation Unified Response as the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission by providing military support capabilities to civil authorities to help stabilize and improve the situation in Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the area on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson/Released)
Photo Credits: 100115-N-6247V-055 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 15, 2010) Rear Adm. Ted N. Branch, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, analyzes the Haitian terrain from a Sea Hawk helicopter. Rear Adm. Branch embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived Jan. 15, to provide humanitarian aid and emergency assistance following the earthquake disaster of Jan. 12. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Candice Villarreal/Released)