Monday, January 18, 2010

Here Comes the Cavalry

And the Navy, and the Marines, and the Coast Guard and the kitchen sink. From the U.S. Southern Command:

”MIAMI – In the last 48 hours, U.S. Southern Command has established Joint Task Force Haiti to oversee U.S. military relief efforts in Haiti and has appointed U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ken Keen to command the task force.
Approximately 4,200 U.S. military personnel are currently supporting task force operations, within Haiti and from U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels off shore.
An additional 6,300 military personnel are scheduled to arrive by Monday.
Current U.S. military efforts are focused on working with the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), international relief organizations and local responders to provide search and rescue, distribute aid and assess damage to key infrastructure. “

Let me insert a break here to emphasize one of my central themes at Get the Flick. It’s the runways, stupid.

”With approval from the government of Haiti, U.S. Air Force air traffic control and airfield management personnel are managing air operations into the international airport at Port au Prince.  The airfield is currently open for 24-hour operations and has a 90-aircraft-per-day capability “

The taxiways and gates count too -- all the infrastructure (or lack thereof.) Even a natural disaster can’t wish away capacity limitations. Back to the press release:

”The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) are presently operating off the Haitian coast in support of the task force.  USS Carl Vinson has 19 embarked helicopters flying airlift missions in support of relief efforts.  The carrier is also delivering more than 30 pallets of relief supplies for distribution to affected areas.
Overall, there are 24 helicopters providing relief to the people of Haiti now.
A Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard the amphibious ship USS Bataan and comprised of more than 2,200 Marines is scheduled to arrive in Haiti Jan. 18 with heavy lift and earth-moving equipment, and additional medical support capabilities.
Other ships currently en route to Haiti include the amphibious ships USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS Normandy (CG 60).
The hospital ship USNS Comfort will depart Baltimore, Md. Jan. 16 en route to Haiti with approximately 600 medical personnel and is projected to arrive in Haitian waters on Jan. 21. Comfort’s capabilities include fully-equipped operating rooms, digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT-scan and two oxygen producing plants.  The ship's medical crew will be capable of operating 250 hospital beds and the ship is equipped with a helicopter deck capable of landing large military helicopters. “

And it goes on and on and on. You can read more or keep up on latest developments here.

Don Brown
January 18, 2010


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