Louisiana Guard set to lead new Haiti mission
By Dialogo April 28, 2010The Louisiana National Guard is scheduled to lead a “New Horizons” humanitarian assistance exercise in Haiti beginning June 1, U.S. Southern Command officials announced yesterday. “We are proud to have our National Guard step forward to be a part of this important recovery effort,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. “Louisiana received so much support from across the country and around the world after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we stand ready to lend that same assistance to other parts of the world in their times of need. “These brave men and women know firsthand the type of hard work and perseverance it takes to recover from a disaster,” he continued, “and I know that they will serve the people of Haiti well.” The exercise in Haiti will provide critically needed medical and engineering services to the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding communities, such as Gonaives. The country was ravaged by an earthquake Jan. 12. Southcom officials said free medical care will be provided at various sites, and that U.S. military medical personnel will be stationed at each site for 10 days to provide general medical, dental and optometry services for about 700 people daily. Engineering projects will include not only new construction at three schools, but also construction of a sports recreation area and water well improvements, Southcom officials said. “The Louisiana National Guard is excited about leading the New Horizons mission to Haiti,” said Army Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, the state’s adjutant general. “While our soldiers and airmen are very proud to join the relief effort, this mission [will] also be an excellent training opportunity for them.” Jindal said the Louisiana National Guard will provide the duration staff, while eight other states and one territory will contribute soldiers to this mission, including Missouri, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, California, Indiana, Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands. North Dakota, Indiana and Nevada will provide military police support. Nevada and Montana will provide aviation support, and South Dakota will provide engineering support.