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General Fraser : “US Military Working Feverishly and Aggressively” to Provide Aid to Haiti

By Dialogo
January 14, 2010

This is the first time I visit your web page and as a Mexican journalist it is very nice to know there exist such well written articles with accurate information. Congratulations to the Editorial staff of your magazine and again, THANK YOU as this represents hope for the printed media and true journalism at a global level…it means a lot to count on true professionals of such an important field. May God bless you. RSA USSOUTHCOM Commander, General Douglas Fraser, emphasized the humanitarian relief efforts that are underway to provide assistance to victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti Tuesday, during a news conference held January 14, 2010 at USSOUTHCOM headquarters. “We are working feverishly and aggressively to provide life sustaining capabilities in Haiti. Our hearts go out to the Haitian people and we are making use of every asset we have at the Department of Defense to ensure that relief gets to them as soon as possible”, General Fraser stated. The scale of commitment and rapid response to the humanitarian crisis is clear. Outlining relief efforts, General Fraser summed up the U.S. military presence so far. “We have 329 troops on the ground today, 757 troops will be in Haiti tomorrow, and 942 will be on the ground by Saturday”, indicated General Fraser. A snapshot of ongoing relief efforts in Haiti, presented by General Fraser, indicated that less than 48 hours after the earthquake, more than 300 personnel specialized in disaster relief missions were already on the ground. When additional support arrives via carriers in the coming days, between 5,000 to 6,000 personnel will be available in Haiti to provide desperately needed relief supplies, distribute aid and rebuild vital infrastructure capabilities at the damaged port and airstrip in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince. Four Coast Guard cutters with helicopter capabilities, a Navy destroyer with helicopter support and a disaster relief assessment team are also headed to Haiti. A battalion from the 82nd Airborne equipped with a Command and Control Center will also be dispatched to work with search and rescue teams from the U.S. government and international aid groups. In a race to provide urgently needed supplies, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected to arrive in Haiti Friday morning, with a sizeable logistic capacity to transport injured personnel and vital relief supplies. The ship will also be carrying 19 helicopters and 30 pallets of water, food and emergency aid. By January 19th, just one week after the crisis, three ships with 2,200 U. S. Marines providing disaster relief supplies will also reach Haiti, and by January 22nd, the USNS Comfort hospital ship will arrive to provide much needed medical teams and surgeons with the capability to tend to a wide range of medical needs including delicate operations.