PR Guard standing by – Gitmo damaged by Haiti quake
The Army and Air National Guard are prepared to help in the humanitarian relief effort in Haiti, the chief of the National Guard Bureau said today.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Haitian people, who have been devastated by this earthquake,” said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley. “The National Guard stands ready to work with the Army and the Air
Force to provide humanitarian assistance to Haiti when called upon.”
Specifically, the Puerto Rico National Guard, which is one of the closest U.S. territories in the area, has personnel and equipment on standby if they are needed.
The Puerto Rico Army Guard has alerted three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1/111th Aviation Company along with 12 crew members, and the Puerto Rico Air Guard has called up two C-130 aircraft from the 156th Airlift Wing with 21 support personnel, said Army Capt. Paul Dahlen, the Puerto Rico Guardâ€™s public affairs officer.
He said the aircraft have anticipated deployment times, but officials are waiting for final approvals.
U.S. Southern Command is coordinating with the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to assess the situation after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake left perhaps thousands of people dead and many more trapped beneath collapsed buildings, officials reported.
â€œIf we are asked by the Department of State and the Department of Defense to provide assistance, we would do so in a supporting role,â€ Southcom officials said in a written statement. The USAI D’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is the lead U.S. government agency for U.S. disaster relief efforts, the statement noted.
Command officials said they will deploy a team of 30 people to Haiti today, including military engineers, operational planners and a command and control group and communication specialists on the two C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. The team will work with U.S. Embassy personnel as well as Haitian, United Nations and other officials to assess the situation to provide follow-on support.
The last time the National Guard supported relief efforts in Haiti was 2008, when eight Air National Guard medical personnel were onboard the USS Kearsarge when it was diverted from its Continuing Promise mission to Haiti, which was devastated by Hurricane Ike.
â€œWith nearly 450,000 people throughout 54 states and territories, the
National Guard can deploy and respond to any disaster as needed, anywhere,â€ said Walt Debany, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau.
According to news reports, the quake was felt in the Dominican Republic as well as Guantanamo Bay.
Arkansas and Rhode Island Guardsmen currently deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo felt the tremors from yesterdayâ€™s earthquake in Haiti. Air Force Lt. Col. Denise Boyer, commander of the 474th Expeditionary Combat Engineering Squadron, which is made up of about 50 Air National Guard members, said she was in her tent when the earthquake hit yesterday after duty hours.
â€œThe tent shook, the floor shook, everything kind of rumbled around,â€ she said. â€œHonestly, it felt like a big 18-wheeler rolled by outside.â€
Boyer had experienced seismic activity before at Guantanamo, but â€œthis was definitely bigger than what we had in the past.â€
The Navy engineers there are dealing with some water breaks, but Boyer said her engineers are not responsible for any hard structures on the base.
â€œTents fare a lot better in an earthquake,â€ she said.
By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
Special to American Forces Press Service
Table of contents for Haiti quake 2010
- Massive earthquake strikes Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – aftershocks continue
- Haiti earthquake aid
- Haiti quake damages pile up
- Horror in Haiti – the morning after the quake
- U.S. quickly responds to Haiti quake
- Infrastructure hurdles to Haiti quake relief
- U.S. Coast Guard on location in Haiti right now
- Strong aftershocks continue in Haiti
- PR Guard standing by – Gitmo damaged by Haiti quake
- Paras and Marines on alert for Haiti move
- Earthquake in Haiti update for January 13 evening
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 14 morning update
- Marines ready to assist Haiti after earthquake
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 14 evening
- FEMA report on Haiti relief efforts for January 15
- Out of the night sky – Air Force secures Port-au-Prince airport
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 15 evening
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers
- But people are dying – thoughts on the Haitian disaster
- Aftershocks continue to rock Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 16
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 16
- Hospital ship Comfort sails for Haiti
- Baby delivered during Haiti evacuation
- Navy is delivering supplies to Haiti victims
- Hospital ship Comfort racing to Haiti
- Country club serves as forward base for Paras in Haiti
- Situation at Port-au-Prince airport improving
- Sanjay Gupta Assists Vinson Medical Team in Haiti
- USAID Update on the Haiti relief operation January 18
- Air drop to aid Haitian victims of earthquake
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 18
- Earthquake in Haiti – morning update January 19
- Los Angeles rescuers save Haitian woman
- Stories from Haiti – update for Jan 20 morning
- American volunteers in Haiti
- American donations for Haiti earthquake relief – Jan 21
- Haiti earthquake relief update for Jan 21
- Haitians receiving care and support aboard Bataan
- Hospital ship Comfort healing, hugging Haitians
- Brief update on Navy and Marine relief efforts in Haiti Jan 23
- Fort Hood veterinary services unit sent to Haiti
- Harbor damage in Port-au-Prince
- American giving for Haiti relief as of January 25
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami
- Haitian Coast Guard base becomes hub for quake relief
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami Jan 28
- High tech warbird aids Haiti relief efforts
- High-speed ferrys en route to Haiti
- Southern Command briefs on Haiti situation
- Paras opening roads in Haiti
- Aid from Dominican Republic via Kentucky National Guard
- Haitian assistance stories for February 3
- Haitian relief efforts slow
- Marine calls Leogane Haiti home
- Haiti earthquake relief update for February 7
- Army medics at work in Haiti relief effort
- Haiti earthquake relief funding update for February 14
- Keeping Haitians informed
- A tent means a lot to Haitian orphans
- Italian troops aid paras in Haiti rubble clearance
- Landslide in Haiti tests Special Ops rescuers
- Navy and Marines bridge Haitian divide from government
- Haitian earthquake relief – update for February 28
- Haitian earthquake update – March 4
- Air Guard Engineers Help Haitians
- Things are baaaaad in Haiti
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