U.S. Navy, Marine Corps Team Helps Coordinate Help In Carrefour

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps Team Helps Coordinate Help In Carrefour

By Dialogo
February 25, 2010

Since the beginning of Operation Unified Response, one of the primary
missions of the Navy and Marine Corps civil affairs teams attached to the 22nd
Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is to unite the
people and governments of earthquake menaced Haiti together with non-governmental
organizations and international aid workers.

Using a facility called a civil military operations center, Marines from 4th
Civil Affairs Group, attached to the 22nd MEU and sailors from Maritime Civil
Affairs Team 207, worked diligently to bring all these factors together to help
organize a combined local and international effort to stabilize the Caribbean

"The mission of the CMOC was to act as a bridge between the people and the
local government," said Staff Sgt. Jerrick D. Croston, a civil affairs team chief
with 4th CAG and the 22nd MEU.

The CMOC is located in the town of Carrefour, just outside the nation's
capital city of Port-au-Prince, on Landing Zone Argonaut, a small encampment
operated by the Marines and sailors of Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd
Marine Regiment, 22nd MEU.

At the facility, civil affairs personnel met with town leaders and NGO
officials to plan distributions and combined operations for the people of the local

"As local Haitians and organizations had needs, they brought them up to the
CMOC," Croston, a Philadelphia native, continued. "The major achievement of the CMOC
was getting the mayors [of Carrefour] and the local government to work with the
community leaders of Carrefour."

Croston explained that many of the one million strong population of Carrefour
have strong loyalty to a few key leaders in the community, who are mostly pastors
from local religious organizations.

"After the earthquake people looked to them," he added. "So we brought the
local leaders and the local government together."