Air Guard scaling back Haiti relief efforts
By Dialogo February 23, 2010I understand that the reconstruction aid to Haiti must be maintained as well as the North American military presence as this in turn guarantees order and controls against looters that are waiting for the slightest opportunity to sack the Haitian people. Yes! I am so sorry for the disaster because I would like to be helpful to the Haitian people. I am machine operator and surely I would help. So I am seeing that it will be first necessary to keep order in the country and a site for the volunteers In moments like this one, the humanity gives in to despair because weâ€™ve seen that the power of Nature is stronger that any biotechnology. I imagined the panic of this people living there and that died, poor, rich, protestant, catholic, in short, they had no choice. This is the secret of our planet. "Life goes onâ€ The number of Air National Guard members supporting Operation Unified Response dropped to a little over 200 this week as Haitian authorities and nongovernmental organizations begin to accept a greater share of relief efforts in the ravaged country, Guard officials said. At the peak, about 500 Airmen from at least 15 states were involved in the earthquake-relief efforts. "As we look at our military requirements in supporting (the U.S. Agency for International Development) and the government of Haiti, we're dialing it back where unnecessary as we right-size the force as requirements are needed on the ground, and we're dialing it up where it's necessary based upon needs on the ground," said Army Lt. Gen. P.K. "Ken" Keen, the top U.S. commander in Haiti, via video teleconference from Port-au-Prince. Airlifters, air traffic control personnel and civil engineers from the Air Guard were the most requested specialties, Guard officials said. Almost 20 Idaho Air Guard members from the 124th Civil Engineering Squadron were deployed to the devastated nation after the magnitude 7.0 quake hit Jan. 12. "Our Citizen-Airmen supported fellow military members in Haiti by setting up tents and providing power, sanitation, water and refrigeration for food storage," said Lt. Col. Tim Marsano, the Idaho Guard spokesman. Airmen from New Mexico, Texas, Florida, New York, Arkansas and Washington State were involved in reconnaissance and intelligence missions; and Kentucky combat controllers and Airmen from Florida, New Hampshire, Mississippi and South Carolina supported air traffic control and airfield operations. Airlift of personnel and supplies as well as logistics and communications were also conducted by units from Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Mississippi. The U.S. military continues to work under USAID, the lead American component, and alongside partners, such as the United Nations.