“Relief for Haiti is Happening Right Now”, Says USSOUTHCOM Commander, General Fraser
By Dialogo January 15, 2010“Relief for Haiti is happening right now”, USSOUTHCOM Commander, General Douglas Fraser, told reporters Friday, January 15, at a news conference held at SOUTHCOM headquarters. “We are asking the citizens of Haiti to remain calm; help is on the way”, General Fraser added, noting the swift deployment of U.S. humanitarian assistance to the country that was ravaged by a massive earthquake on Tuesday. “The U.S. military continues to provide support to all relief efforts, and has 4,200 personnel on the ground at the moment”, said General Fraser. “That number will increase by 1,000 on Saturday, when additional personnel from the 82nd Airborne arrive. By Monday, 4,300 more troops will arrive via three amphibious ships”, indicated General Fraser. The Southcom Commander also spoke of the successful efforts to restore the capabilities of the damaged international airport in the Haitian capital, Port au Prince, where 90 flights a day are now being able to land with urgently needed supplies. Restoring the airport supply route and sending aid by helicopters from ships offshore, now enables Haitian authorities to tell their citizens where to go for medicine, food and water. General Fraser underlined the importance of the international relief effort, noting the United States is working “in unison with 18 nations” including “expanding efforts to work with the Dominican Republic to transfer supplies overland” in order to get aid as swiftly as possible to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians in desperate need of assistance.