Military Engineers Train Haitians To Assess Building Damage

Military Engineers Train Haitians To Assess Building Damage

By Dialogo
March 05, 2010

The grandiosity of the USNS Comfort can only be compared with the greatness of his mission and the value of his crew involved in the noble mission of saving lives. Congratulations to all the wonderful performance and dignified professionalism.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command partnered with U.S. Navy Seebees,
Air Force and Army engineers to train Haitian engineers on building assessment
ensuring Haitian citizens are living in structurally sound buildings.

"The work we are doing today is to systematically walk through neighborhoods
assessing damage," said Vince Sobach, Joint Task Force Engineers, NAVFAC. "The
primary goal is to get people back in their homes. The second part of the mission is
training the local Haitian engineers. Basically we are doing a technology transfer.
We are trying to both things at the same time since time is of the

"A lot of the residents of Tourgeau are in one of the local internally
displaced persons' camp that is very much overcrowded," said Sobach. "So we are
going to sweep this neighborhood and try to decompress that camp."

The group of engineers walked from house to house knocking on doors, looking
in and around buildings and talking to residents. All of the Haitian citizens opened
their doors with no protests and confidently showed the cracks on the walls of their

"We are here to do the assessments for two reasons," said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr.
Scott A. Shaulis. "According to a United Nations poll, it is estimated that the
people living in the large displaced persons' camp near the palace, about 85 percent
of them are from Tourgeau."

"If we find that their homes have little to no damage from the earthquake,"
Shaulis said, "it is hoped that they will come home and alleviate the strain on that

The long term goal, said Shaulis, "is to compile all the information that we
are gathering, give it to the Haitian government and they will decide what to do
from there."