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 4 February 24, 2010Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti storya call to dutyContinued on page 7 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -Sailors embarked on the hospital ship USNS Comfort provided physical therapy assistance and subject-matter expert advice to medical staff members at St. Damien Hospital here Feb. 19. Comfort also visited the hospital to assess the medical needs of the facility and to assist recovering victims suffering from injuries resulting from last months earthquake. We started sending people ashore when the need [for physical therapy] on board the ship decreased, said Cmdr. Deborah Carr, the physical Comfort. She went on to say that if those who have received treatment PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti The U.S. military forces in Haiti are compensating individuals for valid accidents or incidents sustained by inhabitants or their property caused by the U.S. military or Department of Defense civilians and contractors during Jan. 13. We recognized a long time ago that when were on foreign soil, we sometimes break things, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jack Ohlweiler, Joint Task Force-Haiti deputy staff judge advocate. Its important that when we do leave this theater, we help to leave the people whole. Passed in 1942 when the U.S. was preparing to enter World War II, the Foreign Claims Act, was created to do just that Navy teaches Haitians critical medical skillsBy MC2 Chelsea KennedyUSNS Comfort Military compensates Haitians for claims during operationBy Senior Airman Andria J. AllmondU.S. Southern Command U.S. Army Capt. Fred Ingram, Joint Task Force-Haiti operational law attorney and Foreign Claims Commission at the U.S. embassy, oversees the settlement paid to a Haitian mother for her 16-year old son, Feb. 14. Payment must be overseen by a parent or guardian if the recipient is under 21 years old, the legal age of adult hood in Haiti.(U.S. Army photo by Senior Airman Andria J. Allmond / SOUTHCOM) Continued on page 6 leave a countrys people and their belongings intact upon the U.S. militarys departure. Its goal is to maintain friendly relations through the prompt settlement of meritorious claims. The FCA is only valid on foreign ground and has a combat exclu sion. This means, it is only applicable to inhabitants of a foreign country and is not applied to incidents or accidents occurring from combat operations. in Haiti is a humanitarian effort, theres little chance of combat exclusion, said U.S. Army Capt. Fred Ingram, JTF-H operational law attorney, comprising the oneman Foreign Claims Commission at the U.S. embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and charged with investigating each claim. From day one, of us arriving in theater, if receives medical treatment Feb. 20 aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort. The boy was brought aboard for treatment of a cancerous infection in his eye and a variety of other life-threatening condi


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 Responder Staff: Editor Sgt. Richard Andrade 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 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti The World Food Program has ended the interim stage of its food distribution program here Feb. 20. Over 19 million pounds of bulk food rations have been given out to about 2 million director of operations, JTF-H. These are 14-day rations to families so that they dont have to worry about food day-to-day. It has been a very successful program. The international community and nongovernmental organizations, working with JTF-H, are fairly practiced by now and they completed the most recent stage of the program, mostly without any issues logistical or otherwise. There were some glitches but the U.N., and provide solutions to overcome, said By Spc. A. M. LaVeyXVIII Airborne Corps off this next phase of a structured feeding tle required from the JTF-H. The JTF-H, currently with about 12,800 American servicemembers in Haiti, has been sharing the responsibility for the security of the food distribution points with the U.N. security forces. They have always been in the lead but we Though humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is not what the U.N. forces are here for, they have been stepping up their support for these kinds of missions. All but one of the distribution points were jointly manned with security elements from both the U.N. and the JTF-H. We have been helping by secure cer tain distribution points that are outside the U.N.s ability or those which have exceed government of Haiti picking up more of the responsibility of distribution and forwardlooking planning elements, the need for military assistance has been progressively declining. quirements from the World Food Program, In the initial phase of the food distribution program the JTF-H assisted with the security of all the sites. In the second portion of this phase, the JTF-H provided security at four points. In the next stage, further reductions are expected. The JTF-H has also been working with the U.N., through the International OrganiHaiti, who have been displaced from their homes, with their need for shelter, especial ly as the rainy season approaches.Continued on page 7Italians, Brazilians join forces to provide humanitarian reliefLt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, and Marine Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Espinal, command senior enlisted advisor, Joint Task Force Haiti, receive a brief from an Italian diver about the hyperbaric chamber used to treat acute and chronic dive injuries. (U.S. Army photo by Col. Billy J. Buckner XVIII Airborne Corps)PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Although less publicized, nearly 1,000 Sailors and Soldiers from the Italian aircraft carrier, ITS Cavour, arrived here Jan. 31 joining 30 other nations in providing humanitarian relief to the Haitian people. The more than 35 doctors and nurses, to including medical professionals from the Brazilian military and the volunteers that man the ships hospital, have treated approximately 350 patents and per formed more than 35 surgeries since their arrival. Currently the hospital has 15 patients on board, mostly children, who are receiving orthopedic and pediatrics care. was designed with state-of-the-art equipment and command and control systems. The ship even comes equipped with a hyperbaric chamber used to treat acute and chronic conditions. Petucco Dario, the ships radio chief. For what we are doing, it is great. About 250 Soldiers assigned to the ship are working from a forward operating base on shore where they are assisting with By Col. Billy J. BucknerXVIII Airborne CorpsContinued on page 7


3Congress shall make no law establishing a religion nor restrict ing the free exercise thereof ~1st Amendment to The Constitution It sometimes seems strange to other countries how Americans use our chaplains. But we Americans recognize that those who serve in defense, support, and advancement of our freedoms should not be required to give up practice of their own religious traditions in order to defend Americas basic principles. In other words, if our country sends us away from home to serve, then our country has an obligation to provide the same opportunities that service members had at home to exercise their form of worship. To that end: The Joint Task Force Haiti made a point of bringing an army Catholic chaplain to Haiti for the needs of over 25 percent of the force. He roves the entire JTF-H area of operations saying confessions, and providing counsel. He offered Ash Wednesday services for eight days to ensure Catholics and other christians could observe the beginning of Lent, the season in preparation for the paschal season The JTF-H chaplain, a non-denominational Christian, arranged for Friday Jewish Shabbat ser vices in the Embassy compound. Several other Christian chaplains spent more than two days track ing down the JTF-Hs cache of kowanting to observe his ordinances. wanted to join in Friday afternoon juma prayers. The Catholic chaplain, as a matter of course, drove him to the Jordanian compound and picked him up after they shared a communal meal. The legal basis for the Chaplaincy derives directly from our founding documents and the very ideas of freedom cherished by Americans. And whethnot religious freedom and worship is fundamental to being American, no matter where we serve on earth. JTF-H Catholic chaplain I have never been involved in a humanitarian mission that included the U.N. multi-dimensional, I dont think that there have been many examples in history, said Fernandez. time where you have various types of nongovernmental organizations, military, civil The purpose of this meeting is to address the safety of certain camps that are critical for the regional areas, for cleaning the sewage canal before the rainy season that begins in April, said Fernandez. Identifying sites where the debris is going to be put and recycle the pieces that can be recycled, processed and put to good use at a later date. The debris management task force startate independent sub-groups that are working on various aspects of the problems Ive mentioned, he said. we dont all speak the same language but given the urgency and given the great need, we will try to make things move nonethe less. What we are trying to do here is to take advantage of the momentum of aid and help that Haiti is getting, to try to get some of these problems that we can address on the short term to be solved, said Fernandez.Haiti, UN, Joint Task Force discuss issues relating to debris removal bers of the U.S. and Canadian armies and non-governmental agencies to discuss the future of rubble removal Feb.21. commanding general-humanitarian assistance, Joint Task Force-Haiti, said he was unaware how complex this debris manage ment task force was going to be, but remained optimistic. It requires a lot of coordination, it reof the mission ahead. to get harder, he said of the undertaking ahead of them, it is important to remain focused. The international community is realiz ing that the military has certain things that it can bring to the table, namely resources, ernments participation, they are most helpful, vectoring us in the locations where we will have the most impact. The cooperation between the agancies, been seen and is thought of as historic by Canadian army Capt. Jose Fernandez.XVIII Airborne Corps Brig. Gen. Nicolas E. Matern, deputy commanding general humanitarian assistance, Joint Task Force-Haiti, addresses members of the debris management task force. Members of the Government of Haiti met with members of the U.S. and Canadian armies and non-governmental agencies to discuss the future of rubble re


4 Safety malaria! Before you read this article, have you taken your Doxy? Applied insect repellent to your skin and clothes? Is your area clean, organized and free of standing water? Have you also ensured your battle-buddy/wing man/shipmate has also? There are two main types of vector-borne diseases we should be concerned with in laria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease caused by a parasite. Haiti has the highest malaria case rate among the West Indies. Once infected, symptoms begin 10 days to four weeks after infection, although a per son may feel ill as early as eight days or up to one year later. Humans get malaria from the bite of a malaria-infected mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it ingests microscopic malaria parasites found in the persons blood. The malaria parasite must grow in the mosquito for a week or more before infection can be passed to another person. If, after a week, the mosquito then bites another person, the parasites go from the mosquitos mouth into the persons blood. The parasites then travel to the persons liver, enter the livers cells, grow and multiply. During this time when the parasites are in the liver, the person has not yet felt sick. The parasites leave the liver and enter red blood cells in as little as eight days or up to several months. Once inside the red blood cells, the parasites grow and multiply. The red blood cells burst, freeing the parasites to attack other red blood cells. Toxins from the parasite are then released into the blood, making the person feel sick. Dengue fever transmission is usually seasonal, during and shortly after the rainy season and the risk of infection is highest transmit dengue fever. Symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, joint and muscle pain, nausea/vom iting, and rash. The rash may appear three to four after the onset of fever. Infection is diagnosed by a blood test that detects the presence of the virus or antibodies. The ill ness may last up to ten days, but complete recovery can take two to four weeks. Preventive counter measures include: keeping exposed skin covered, wearing insect repellent, using a product that contains 20 to 50 percent DEET and sleeping under a Permethrin-treated bed net. These will greatly reduce your chances of becoming infected with malaria or dengue fever. In addition to the above preventive measures, taking your daily antibiotics will greatly reduce your chances of contacting malaria. By Mr. Jesse MartinJTF-H Safety A small boat crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Legare and a Haitian coast guard patrol boat crew conduct a joint maritime security patrol of Port-Au-Prince Jan. 26, 2010. Ensign Brian Field and Seaman Tim Fox were embarked on the Haitian coast guard patrol boat to support their efforts. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Brian Dykens)By Lt. Gene MaestasU.S. Coast Guard District SevenPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -The people in Port-au-Prince could see the U.S. Coast dawn the morning after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the infrastructure of Port Au Prince and killed thousands after the earth shook violently late Tuesday afternoon on January 12, 2010. asset to arrive on scene and was soon folfrom Clearwater, Fla., to help provide asnext day. anxiously awaited orders to deploy to Haiti to assist their friends and colleagues at the Continued on page 8 We developed a trusting, working relationship with the Haitian to train with them since 2007. Its a professional exchange that includes engineering and medi program also offers an opportunity for Haitian coast guard mem Center in Yorktown, Va. and the Leadership School at the U.S. Lambert Jean Rosemond, the chief of operations at the Haitian


5 Sgt. Jarrell Williams, platoon sergeant, Combat Cargo, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, carries 14-year-old Lydie Au1. Lydie was brought aboard USS Nassau a week prior in order to receive emergency medical care of her wounds which weeks ago, 14-year-old Lydie Augustin was suffering from two severe, untreated lacerations caused by bricks that fell on her leg that were shook loose from a building during the Jan. 12, earthquake. She rehigh spirits Feb. 2. the sky, with glowing smiles and shouts of aircraft landed to bring Lydie and her father home. liene, Jan. 25, their mission was to survey any earthquake damage, determine if the Marines, Navy unite returning injured Haitian girl homeBy Lance Cpl. David J. Beall 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit ple like Lydie who were in need of medical care. die was hurt as soon as they arrived. The companying them, realized she needed help, and fast.With the lack of medical care needed to treat her wounds in the area, the team was worried about infection and possible loss of her leg, or even death. The team wasted no time and requested a medi cal evacuation using a helicopter to bring her and her father back to USS Nassau. "I was extremely happy that my daughter was going to get the help she needed, as a father, it was like thank you Jesus for this savior," said Petero Augustin, Lydie's father who stayed with his daughter aboard said. Once on the ship, Lydie went straight to the operating room where the lacerations were cleaned and stitched. In the following days she received antibi otic treatments and made some new friends as she and her father spent nearly a week aboard ship to recover and get healthy. Although she was away from her home and in an unfamiliar place, with people she had never seen before, the medical staff aboard USS Nassau did an amazing job giving her everything she needed and more and making both her and her father feel at home. "The people here have treated us great, they have made us feel very comfortable," said Petero referring to the servicemembers who cared for his daughter. "I am going to explain all of our experi ences to my family and friends when we get home."


6Navy Continued from page 1 USNS Comfort Sailor Lt. Toinette Evans em braces a young child in the pediatric ward of St. Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Sailors embarked aboard Comfort visited the local hospital to assess medical needs of the facility and assist recovering patients with their rehabilitation process. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chelsea Kennedy)dont perform physical therapy The joints can freeze to the point where a person will not have a functional range of motion in their joints. In addition to working with the patients at the hospital, Comfort sailors shared their valuable knowledge with the hospital staff and clinic workers. The Sailors are doing a little bit of [physical therapy] work with patients, Carr said. They are also working with some of the civilian facilities to help them learn things that they can do to help. nurses working at the after care facilities do not have personnel specialized in providing physical therapy. Were not going to be able to turn them all into physical therapy technicians, Carr said. Using every little tool they have in the tool box to help the patients is a good thing. Without the knowledge that these Sailors are providing, many of the patients would not understand what is required of them to maintain their mobility for the future. We gave handouts for the exercises that they need to maintain or improve their strength, or amputation care for those who have lost limbs, said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James Abbington. We are teach ing patients to help themselves by showing them how to wrap their own amputations and check for infections. Physical therapy is a key factor in the recovery process for orthopedic and amputation surgeries. It ensures that patients do not get atrophy from sitting or lying down for extended periods of time. ing again so they can function in everyday life, Abbington said. With proper physical therapy techniques patients can shorten their recovery time dramatically, have much better muscle function, and livelife with a greater sense of normality. Sailors work together while treating a young boy in the casualty receiving area of the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort Feb. 20. The boy, who the staff aboard has taken to calling Johnnie D, is believed to be an orphan. He was brought aboard for treatment of


CONTINUATION7Italians Continued from page 2 Compensation Continued from page 1 we caused damaged, well compensate the individual appropriately. Currently, there are approximately 40 claims being tracked with 25 incidents being investigated for settlement. The process for compensation occurs in three steps. First, if the FCC is available, he will go to the site and begin the investigation -taking pictures, talking to people, gathering evidence and taking statements. If the FCC is unable to travel to the location of the alleged accident, the claiming party is given a paper containing contact information, along with the address and date to meet with the FCC. Second, if the investigation proves the case is invalid, the claim is denied. If the claim proves warranted, the FCC deter mines a fair amount of compensation. He conducts research, sometimes calling upon local physicians or contractors, to assist in determining the monetary value of the damage based upon local standards. We have to assess the value of the damthis is not a mature theater, said Ingram. Proving someone has ownership of a vehicle or house for example, doesnt always it. Sometimes, it involves going into the neighborhoods and asking the individuals neighbors what belongs to whom. Compensating someone for lost wages due to treated them, wherever that treatment was rendered, and then contacting civil affairs to determine the value of their daily labor. We end up doing a lot of research, as well as consulting with the locals, to measure how much things are worth. Lastly, the offer is made to the claimant. We make them the offer, said Captain Ingram. Were not trying to do any injustice here; we do whats fair in our own estima tion. The Army captain said thus far, the offers have proven agreeable to the claiming parties. Paying the affected party is done privately by a four-person squad near U.S. embassy grounds or at the recipients home. This method attempts to protect the individual or family receiving the money. We dont want to put these people in harms way by having other people see us putting cash into their hands, said U.S. JTF-H staff judge advocate. Weve put together a great team to go out and do this. We even have [U.S. Army Lt. Col. Frantz Vitale] to help us translate and ease any apprehension the Creole-speaking Haitian may have while we are in the process of paying them. Aside from the ability to speak the native tongue, Vital brings his homestation experience into the process. As a litigation attorney, Im used to mediating and negotiating with opposing sides, said Vital, JTF-H legal assistance I advocate for the claimant party. Here, I am negotiating for the government. There fore, in my position, I am familiar with both sides. strengths, making it run smoothly for both sides. Along with Ingram as the responsible FCC and Vitale as the Creole-translating international affairs agent, the team boasts Ohlweiler, also an FCC, and Sgt. 1st Class serving the role as pay agent. Before we even got boots-on-ground, we knew that this was something wed have to confront right away, said Ingram. Our military not only wants to help the Haitians rebuild their country from the devastation caused by the earthquake, we also want to help maintain what these resilient people still have. If members of the JTF-H damage something, its our responsibility to make things right. rubble removal, cleaning streets, repairing churches and schools and working with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers and non-governmental agencies in the area. Prior to arriving in Haiti, the Cavour what the equipments are and if they need assistance of the JTF-H distributing tents or shelters they will make that request, said out tarps and transporting shelters. Because of the U.S. militarys inimi table abilities, we were able to respond quickly, assisting with manpower, medical assistance, and rotary wing aircraft, said Over the ensuing 41 days we have seen their own goods, weve seen the port come back and the airport arise from chaos to reopen. We still have some unique capabilities that we provide, that the international community doesnt, so we will provide those as as long as the Haitian government needs us and wants us to be here, and as long as there is a mission here to be performed, Food Program Continued from page 2 picked up about 70 Brazilian civilian doctors and nurses and military health professionals who were integrated into the task forces mission. In addition, two Brazilian helicopters were loaded on to the carrier. Besides performing their normal duties, many of the crew members volunteer to go for residents. Everyone wants to help, said Dario. This morning we went into town to help make repairs to the museum. servicemembers of the task force are providing assistance to all people who have serious problems and require special treat ment. The Cavour set sail for Haiti Jan 19 from for the carrier and its crew. Asked when they will depart Haiti, Reversi said, they would remain on station as ly. We are here to help restart the regular lives of the Haitian people. It is an interna tional cooperation, said Reversi.


and is guarded by both U.N. and U.S. forces, both of whom are providing humanitarian relief to the Haitian peop.m. the afternoon the earthquake hit and worked until 7 a.m. the next morning. viding medical treatment to the crowds of injured who came to the base looking for help. The next day, the Tahoma embarked a medical assistance to the injured who were seeking help. Lambert indicated there were hundreds of people who came to the base looking for help. He told his crew to come back to work. On the evening of the earthquake, the crew of the Oak began making preparations to deploy to Haiti. The next day they left their homeport of Charleston, S.C., and headed to Jacksonville, Fla. to load equipment for aids-to-navigation work and relief supplies provided by the Department of several training missions in the United 1999. Lambert said, The United States government has provided a lot of support to the Haitian coast guard. To this date, 80 Haitian coast guard mem bers have studied in the United States. The Haitian coast guardsmen also train with the crew of the Oak as least twice a year and were making preparations for their next training opportunity. Two Oak crewmen were already in Haiti making assessments to determine areas of focus for their next professional exchange when the earthquake hit. The crewmen were found in good condiCoast Guard Continued from page 48Defense program Project Hand Clasp. ami to take on medical supplies provided tles of water donated by Pepsi. Two Coast The following day the crew of the Oak arrived in Haiti and caught up with the crew of the Tahoma to provide medical assistance for the injured at the Haitian coast The crew said this is the most rewarding The crew of Tahoma also helped to estabevacuate the seriously injured to the USNS Comfort and other locations for treatment. The assistance to the Haitian coast guard is greatly appreciated by the Haitian coast guard crew. It is a pleasure to work with the US family, Lambert added.Helpful hand