The Responder : Joint Task Force Haiti Newsletter


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The Responder : Joint Task Force Haiti Newsletter
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Joint Task Force Haiti
Joint Task Force Haiti
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THE RESPONDERVol. I, Issue 3 February 20, 2010Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti story a call to dutyContinued on page 6 Continued on page 6Servicemembers distribute clean, fresh water in HaitiPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti The Soldiers of the 82nd Water Detachment, 16th Quartermaster Company, 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 49th Group, have been purifying and distributing clean water here since they arrived last month. Our mission is to make and distribute potable water, not only to our servicemembers but also to the people of Haiti, said Staff Sgt. Steven Latham, detachment charge. We acquired a water source from the locals who run the well and the pump for us, Latham said. We are bringing up their water, making it clean and then distributing it. By Staff Sgt. Stephen RoachXVIII Airborne CorpsPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti U.S. Army divers are deployed to Haiti in support of of engineers specializes in underwater repair, recovery operations, as well as demolition. 544th Engineer Dive Team from Fort Eustis, Va., was in Belize for a partner nation training opportunity with divers from Central Belize and Guatemala the day the earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti and they were sent straight to Port au Prince, Haiti to start mapping and surveying the Port-au-Prince Seaport shipping lanes to ensure there was access to the badly damaged pier. There are only two ways to get supplies into Haiti, by air or by sea. The airport here has been congested since the earth quake struck and the seaports north pier was completely destroyed. That meant the south pier which was also badly damaged of much needed relief supplies from large vessels. Ship-to-shore transport runs almost nonstop during the day, but the smaller vessels can only move so many supplies per trip. In order for the south pier to be used the Army divers have to restore vertical load stability. Capt. Scott Sann, commander, 544th Engineer Dive Team, said, The last thing you want to see is a ship weighed down with cargo that is meant for the Haitian people anchored out of the port waiting to come in. Our main mission right now is to get this pier back to its vertical load capability pre-earthquake. Army divers help repair Haitian seaport Sgt. Andrew Miltenberger (L), and Capt. Scott Sann (R), both with the 544th Engineer Dive Team, inspect the pier at the Port-au-Prince Seaport as a Haitian citizen watches from the support structure. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen Roach) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, meets with Colombian army Lt. Col. Ricardo Beltran (left), and Colombian army and air force personnel at an inter mediate aftercare facility here. Full story on Page 5 Water Det., 16th Quartermas ter Co., 530th Combat Sustain ment Support Battalion, 49th Group, provides local citizens with fresh water here Feb. 17. its neighborhood with clean drinking water twice daily. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. A.M. LaVey / XVIII Airborne Corps)By Spc. A. M. LaVeyXVIII Airborne CorpsColombian forces


The Responder is an electronic newsletter distributed by the JTF-H PAO. All photos are Department of Defense unless otherwise credited. The Responder is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday and Saturday for the Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen and Marines of JTF-Haiti.Commander JTF-Haiti Lt. Gen. P. K. (Ken) Keen Command Senior Enlisted Advisor JTF-Haiti Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Espinal JTF-Haiti Public Affairs Senior Enlisted Advisor Sgt. Maj. Sharon Opeka Responder Staff: Editor Sgt. Richard Andrade Public Affairs Specialist Spc. A.M. LaVey The editor can be reached at The Responder tent, by phone: 797-7009 and or by email: THE RESPONDERTelling the Joint Task Force-Haiti story a call to duty By Sgt. Richard Andrade XVIII Airborne CorpsPETIT-GOAVE, Haiti Spain dispatched its naval amphibious assault ship, Castilla, to assist in Operation Hispaniola, Spains mili tary relief operation for Haiti following the Jan. 12. earthquake. The Rota Cadiz, Spain-based ship arrived in Haiti Feb. 4, transship is able to transport three helicopters, and several fast boats. The Castilla is expected to remain on-station for approximately three months. Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, was escorted by Spanish forces throughout Petit-Goave and visited Spains medical aid stations and water distribution points. Keen met with the doctors and civilians working at the aid station who are assisting with the humanitarian aid effort. Spanish Marines. There were people donning face masks to protect them from the dust in the streets while sweeping and cleaning up rubble that was on the sidewalk. After visiting one medical aid station set up by the Spanish forces, Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Espinal, command senior enlisted advisor, JTF-H said the Spanish Marines and navy have made an immedi ate impact, to the city of Petit-Goave There are many non-governmental organizations working with the Spanish forces assisting with the relief efforts in Haiti, offering food, water, and radios. Seamus OBrien, logistics director for Medical Assistance to JTF-H commander visits Spanish military allies in Haiti Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, is esGoave, visiting Spains medical aid stations and water distribu tion points. Spain dispatched its naval amphibious assault ship, Castilla, to assist in Operation Hispaniola, Spains military re Army photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade / XVIII Airborne Corps)Remote Communities. He said, One of the issues after the disaster was that many people wanted to give aid but there wasnt an organization set up here, said. Aid for Haiti has been here for less than two years, said PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 began conducting a series of humanitarian assistance missions at a local orphanage here Feb. 2. The children of orphanages need more help than ever after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the nations capitol on Jan. 12, kill ing more than 100,000 people and causing widespread devasta tion. Members of the PSU are in Haiti performing security duties dur ing efforts to restore full shipping capacity at the port, but seeing the extent of suffering and damage caused by the earthquake, the Coast Guardsmen were compelled to do more. Weve just come here to do something to help a little bit and put smiles on these kids faces, said Capt. Steven Baynes, Coast Guard Liaison to the Joint Task Force-Haiti. This is probably one since being here. Coast Guard conducts humanitarian aid mission at Port-Au-Prince orphanageUSCG District Seven Coast Guard Lt. Teresa Wolf, a physician assistant assigned to Port Security Unit 307, and Methelus Edelette, A Haitian Coast Guard coreman, provide medical attention and medicine during an orphanage relief project, Feb. 3. (U.S. Coast Continued on page 6 Continued on page 6


Continued on page 73Air Mobility Command brings hope to HaitiBy Capt. Jon Stock Air Mobility Command SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -One day after an earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti Jan. 12, Air Mobility Command Air men along with its total force partners began operations to trol Flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz) support the crippled nation. lief operations launched, more than 10,000 AMC active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units around the globe have responded in support of the humanitarian mission. "The support Air Mobility Command [Airmen] provided, and continue to provide, after the earthquake in Haiti has been the largest, most concentrated disaster response I've seen in my 25-year Air Force career," said Col. Brian Reno, the direc tor of the 618th TACC's Contingency Response Cell for Op"The Contingency Response Cell was running for 30 days straight, which is the longest activation the CRC has seen since Sept. 11, 2001. The men and women of AMC, starting here at the TACC, did a phenomenal job planning, tasking and executing missions to support relief efforts, all while continuing to meet the needs of forces deployed around the world, including those engaged in Operations Iraqi and Endur ing Freedom, said Reno. more than 400 missions into Port-au-Prince delivering near ly 6,000 support members and 19 million pounds of cargo. More than 15,000 American citizens have been evacuated by AMC Airmen through the tian critical patients have been aeromedically evacuated to the United States. More than 30.5 at the aerial port in Haiti by AMC personnel as well. "During a recent 60-day deployment to the busiest aerial port in Afghanistan, we moved around 80 million pounds of cargo with about 115 aerial por ters. That's a lot of weight," said Master Sgt. Shannon Koenigstein, the aerial port lead for the 817th Contingency Response Group. ground here in Haiti, we had already moved more than 12 million pounds of cargo with 20 porters. The initial pace of operations here was blazing." AMC air-refueling tankers were also in the relief operations keeping cargo aircraft in sorties and delivering more than 130,000 gallons of fuel to 45 aircraft.


4 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti The 259th Field Service Company, part of the 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 82nd Sustainment Brigade, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., arrived here Feb. 10 to provide the Joint Task Force Haiti and the 82nd Airborne Division with shower facilities and laundry services. Two 20-person shower, laundry, and clothing repair teams, bringing with them three trailer-based Laundry Advanced Systems, have set-up shop at Logistical Support Area Sustainer and work to provide Soldiers with two very important, often overlooked services that almost seem alSoldiers want clean clothes, they have got to get their stuff clean, said Capt. Burton Carlson, commander of the 259th. We get it clean and return it to them in a timely manner. The laundry systems, known as LADS, can process 400 pounds of laundry in an hour Fort Bragg Field Service Company brings showers, clean laundry to troops in Haitiand with Carlsons two systems at full capacity, can process about 20,000 pounds of laundry per day. Starting a LADS site in the austere environment of Haiti has been very trying for Carlson and his team. Here in Haiti, it has been a chal lenge because there were no existing facilities, but we were able to get things started and now we keep them going, said Carlson. Before I took command of the 259th, I did not real ize the amount of resources it ers and laundry, said Carlson. If I dont have water, or fuel or some type of sump that can extract grey water, I cant do my mission. You have to always be thinking: what can I do to make this mission happen? There are so many different service company work, and we are working with the locals to make this mission a success, he said. This deployment to Haiti has been a great teaching tool, because the 259th has a lot of newer Soldiers who have yet to deploy. This is an opportunity to train my Soldiers and deploy my equipment, said Sgt. 1st Class Kumlai Manigault, a platoon sergeant with the 259th. I get to know the capabilities and limita tions of our Soldiers and equipment. When you have a mission, especially in an austere environment such as this, you really get to know your people, their strengths and weaknesses, said Carlson. You dont get to see it until your unit faces adversity and challenges. service specialists or what they do here. Soldiers laundry is collected from around Haiti and brought to LSA Sustainment The laundry is received, inventoried and separated into mesh bags, 20 pieces of laundry per bag. The mesh bags are then coded with the Soldiers information and then sent to be processed in the LADS. bundles per drum. It takes once hour to process a load: washing, two rinse cycles, and then it is dried all in the same drum. From the LADS it goes to another tent, where it is re-inventoried, organized back into the Soldiers laundry bag, and then it is ready to be picked up. I like what I do, its fun and different, said Pvt. Elizabeth Ramirez, a shower/laundry and clothing repair specialist with the 259th. We do laundry and keep people clean, she said. When you get exhausted with this heat and humidity, a fresh shower and clean laundry always makes you feel great. This is a good experience and were learning to interact with the people here outside our normal work environment, Ramirez said. for our next mission, even though this mission may only be for a short amount of time. We have a really good system going on, and I know this mission will go well, said Ramirez. Even with this type of mission and the new personnel, the 259th FSC is making it happen, helping those who are helping the people of Haiti. We bring patience, creativity and hard work and that is what it takes to make this mission work, said Carlson. U.S. Army Pfc. Krystal Valentin, a shower/laundry ployed to Haiti to support the XVIII Airborne Corps dry services. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. A.M. LaVey) An Army shower/laundry and clothing re is deployed to Haiti to support the XVIII sion with shower and laundry services. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. A.M. LaVey)By Spc. A.M. LaVey XVIII Airborne Corps


mation Dominance Learning Site in Norfolk translates between Haitian patients and a delegation of visiting physicians from Colombia aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort. (U.S. Navy photo by Staff Sgt. Loobens Alphonse) Drink Water. Haiti has a hot and humid tropical climate that demands constant hydra loss throughout the day. The best way to prevent heat injuries prevent them from of water every 15 to 20 minutes even if you dont feel thirsty. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, loss of coordination, muscle cramps, heat exhaus tion, or heat stroke. Heat injuries can cripple or kill you. Leaders must ensure new arrivals who have not yet become acclimated to the heat should be careful about over working or exercising and should stay hydrated. Acclimatization normally occurs in one or two weeks. Some Soldiers may take a bit longer to acclimate than others. This is based upon the climate the Soldier came from, and the Soldiers individual physiol ogy. The initial symptoms of a heat injury that may develop include muscle cramps, diz ziness, headaches, clumsiness, unsteadi ness, staggering gait, irritability, vomiting, confusion, mumbling, becoming combat ive, or passing out, just to name a few. In all cases: STOP and rest, cool off, drink water and seek medical attention. The potential for heat injuries is great here in Haiti. From the highest levels of command to each and every Soldier, its everyones responsibility to prevent heat injuries. Leaders need to keep an eye out for the signs of heat injuries and ensure an adequate amount of water is available. Safety By Mr Jesse MartinJTF-H Safety Spc. Jared Penland, an infantryman with Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, drinks a bottle of water while on guard shift here at LSA Dragon. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. A.M. LaVey / XVIII Airborne Corps)By Sgt. Richard AndradeXVIII Airborne CorpsPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Many Haitians that suffered injuries during or after the Jan. 12 earthquake have been taken to the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort. Before and after patients receive care on the ship, they are seen by the doctors at an interme diate aftercare facility in Port-au-Prince set up on Jan. 23 by the U.S. air force. Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, and Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Espinal, command senior enlisted advisor, JTF-H visited the IAF in Port-au-Prince that has Colombian army and air force elements and members of the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy. Keen met with the doctors and servicemembers who are assisting with the humanitarian aid effort. The site was established to create a transitional environment for aftercare treatment and rehabilitation of Haitian patients. The majority of the air men are from Travis Air Force Base, CA. U.S. Air Force Col. John Mansport (EMEDS) commander gave Keen a tour of the 20-bed hospital that offers; general surgery, orthopedic sur gery, gynecology, urology, and pediatrics. The U.S. Army, Air Force and Columbian forces working together, Ive never seen that in my career, said Mans-Colombians assist Haitian relief effort at intermediate aftercare facility in Port-au-Prince We have 220 personnel live here, 80 Air Force medics, 24 Columbians, and 120 navy master at arms to provide security, he said. the level of patients in the hospital and he replied, We had no in-patients weeks, two weeks ago we had 18 inpatients over-night. Things have slowed down dramatically for the past week. With the pier so close, we provide an invaluable service, making sure the correct people get in and out of Keen met Columbian Army Lt. Col. Ricardo Beltran, who is in charge of the Columbian element. The Columbian contingent has been in Haiti since Jan. 31., and we are here as long as it takes to help these (Haitian) people, said Beltran. Columbian army 2nd Lt. Jeovanni Lasso said All together we have two from the Columbian air force and the rest from the Columbian army, including three doctors, two nurses and eight paramedics. Columbian air force 2nd Lt. Javier Andres Ocampo is here to help the Columbian army and the U.S. forces help the Haitian patients in this hospital. The Columbian forces mission here is to work in conjuction with the U.S. Navy Continued on page 7 5


6 CONTINUATIONWatercontinued from page 1 Like most resources, clean drinking water has been hard to come by after the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti Jan. 12. When we arrived, there was a rush on the well, he said. We came in, and working with the owners, restored order so that people can come and get water. The people in the area seem very happy. While the 82nds primary mission is to support the JTF-H, the detachment really enjoys meeting and integrating with the locals in their neighborhood, which they do twice daily when they distribute over 3,000 gallons of clean drinking water to the community. When we issue out to the locals, you feel like you actually have a mission, said specialist with the 82nd. Issuing out to other servicemembers you feel like we are only supporting our selves, but when we provide for the community, it really sets in that we are here to help them. that we are doing here make peoples lives better by providing them with clean water The Fort Lee, Va., based detachment is working with the local owners and operators to pull raw water up from the well, push it through the Armys reverse osmosis it safe to drink. The trailer-based ROWPU system is a self-contained water treatment plant and can produce potable water from any water source; and at maximum capacity can purify 3,000 gallons of water per hour and provide up to 20,000 gallons of water per day. The Soldiers here are exceeding the standard. They got here, they knew what their mission was and they have been performing excellently, said Latham. I love my job and I love what we are doing here, said Latham. As Soldiers, weve got a big piece of the pie and we are here helping these people out. We really are doing our piece, one gallon at a time.Diverscontinued from page 1 Vertical load stability is needed to ensure trucks can move on and off of the pier without causing further damage or completely destroying it. The repairs to the pier require a skill set that varies from SCUBA diving to carpentry. After one team did the assessment another went to work cleaning the supports before drilling holes for new rebar cages that add stability, while yet another team built wooden frames that will hold the concrete in place while it cures. U.S. Army divers spend a lot of time training so they can handle complex tasks under stressful conditions. SFC Tracy Bower, team master diver for the 544th Dive Team, said, Army divers have a pretty large mission. We generally support the Army Corps of Engineers with repair and work in water front facilities like dams and other areas throughout North America and we do also travel outside the country. We spend a lot of time training, Army divers have to be jacks of all trades. The dive school in Panama City, Fla., is a diving-focused and the next four months are engineering-focused. Working from the USNS Grasp, a Navy vessel with a civilian Merchant Marine crew, the 544th divers rarely set foot on land. They sleep on the ship, ride to the pier on Zodiac boats, and get to work in the polluted waters of the seaport here in Portau-Prince. The hours are long, the bacteria levels in the water are high, and falling debris can make the work very dangerous. These U.S. Army divers will be out of sight under the pier working to open this seaport so more supplies can be delivered until they complete the mission. OBrien, but after the disaster, everyone started sending all sorts of resources, and a small organization like this just didnt have an administrative infrastructure to handle Spanish forcescontinued from page 2 PSU 307 has been upgrading beds, providing medical care and spending time inter acting with the children at the orphanage in addition to their Coast Guard assigned duties. They will be providing generators, repairing plumbing and adding fans to provide indoor ventilation. Just the smile on the kids faces when we pulled up made it worthwhile. I mean, its the reason why we are here, to help these said Baynes. Coast Guardcontinued from page 2 Now that its been a month after the disaster, said OBrien, its time to say get a decent supply chain, because up to now, all of our supplies have been random donations. After leaving the medical aid station, Keen visited another base where the Spanish Marines and doctors work. chief of staff. He gave Keen and Espinal a tour of the medical stations. There are around 250 Marines for security here and some sappers to help with all When asked if the Marines are used to distribute food, said, No food, just wawe distribute water all over the city, said Everyday we coordinate with the local authorities, the U.N. and the local community in order to choose the best spot to like 10,000 liters of water everyday. We just visited a medical facility that treats over 200 patients a day, said Keen, It is vital that the doctors, the marines and navy work very closely with the civilians in the area, said Keen. After the visit to the Spanish forces base Castilla, where he was given a tour of the ship and met with members of its crew. Its been a real pleasure to see what the Spanish marines and navy are doing here and it is a great honor to able to see what impact they are making in the city of PetitGoave, said Keen.


CONTINUATION7and air force to help the patients affected by earthquake that struck Haiti, said Ocampo. The patients that we care for are initially treated at the USNS Comfort, after that, they are brought here via helicopter or by ship, said Ocampo. U.S. Air Force Col. Mary Pelszynski, the 59th Maternal/Child Care Squadron commander said that the air force contin gency is from multiple locations in the U.S. We have air force personnel from McDill, Travis, Coney, Shaw and Scott Air Force bases, said Pelszynski. When asked about the hospitals mission here Pelszynski said, We have several missions here, our main mission is to sup port the USNS Comfort, we are the only entry into the Comfort, and we also bring Colombianscontinued from page 5AMCcontinued from page 3 Additionally, AMC Airmen air deliv ered more than 246,000 pounds of criti cal supplies such as water and MREs "This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," said Col. Patrick Hollrah, the commander of the Joint Task Force-Port Opening air element in airport was the main hub of humanitarian relief coming into Haiti. The 120 Airmen and 50 Soldiers I had the pleasure of serving with here were the difference between supplies sitting at the airport and supthem. They made a visible impact on this operation, and they can go home proud of what they were able to accomplish." patients from the comfort, she said, We arrange for patients further care, by taking them to a non governmental organiza tion, or another hospital, or to take them home if they are well enough to go home. This hospital is tri-service, the navy provides security, the air force provides the majority of the medical care here, and the army provides fuel, said Pelszynski. Another mission that the hospital provides is that they are now going to some of the NGOs to provide humitarian assistance. The navy and air force provide translators and we also have ministry of health representative to help us to place all of the patients, Pelszynski said. The IAF is helping the USNS Comfort continue the mission of providing aid and to let the Haitian people heal physically and emotionally. In case you have been wondering...Financial entitlements for those supporting Operation United ResponseAs of Jan. 22, 2010 /Courtesy Army G-1


POSTCARD FROM HAITI tion at Toussaint LOuverture International Airport here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson) Lt. Col. John Jay Boyd20th Military History DetachmentPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -Logistics Support Area Dragon moved from one-star to two-star din ing on Feb. 17 with the arrival of cereal packs and other delicious alternatives to the Meal Ready-toEat. Indeed the much maligned and misunderstood veggie burger, along with its evil twin the vegetable lasagna, were quickly jettisoned in favor of the newly arrived taste treats. A popular item is also the hot soup kit, a trend which the temperature usually goes into the 90s! That said the veggie burger has certainly met its match in variety and taste. Truly Joint Task Force-Haiti continues its march towards transition! Bon Appetit!! JTF-H gets new menuU.S. Army Spc. Sabine Osirus, a human resources specialist with the J-1 casualty liasion team, 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center, attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps, enjoys yummy hot soup cian with the J-1 strength management division, also with the 14th Naptime