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 8 March 10, 2010Telling the Joint Task Force-Haiti storya call to duty CARIBBEAN SEA, USNS Comfort -Sailors are lowered in life boats during a live abandon ship drill. More than 900 embarked Sailors participated in the drill designed to educate members on the saf est means to disembark the ship in case of emergency Mar. 8. (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Matthew Jackson)Abandon shipPORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI with everything from rice, to cigarettes, to Revlon lipstick. Men carry enormous bags of fruits and vegetables on their heads, zigzagging through the maze that makes up the "or ange market." It was dubbed this by the U.S. soldiers in the area because of the massive amount of oranges that lay in piles by the side of the road, waiting to be peeled by Haitian women, stuffed into plastic bags, and sold to locals as they walk the streets. The market is a bustling place, as are the areas of PortReturn to normalcy: Haitians go back to work weeks after disaster By Pfc. Kissta Feldner2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Div. A local woman sits in the "orange market", selling fruit to passersby. She and many citizens of Port-au-Prince have began going back to work, seeking a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives, more than a month after the Jan. 12 earthquake. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kissta M. Feldner)continued on page 5 continued on page 5It's been more than a month since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated southern Haiti and more than a month since three aircraft and more than 50 Air men of the 193rd deployed on a humanitarian mission in support Two C-130s and one Commando Solo aircraft have deployed in support of this mission. Staged outside the devastation area, these aircraft hours since deploying Jan. 14. was just a few days after it happened, so we were pretty much there at the foreSpec Ops Wing lends hand in Operation By A1C Claire Behney193rd Special Operations Wing


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 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 Task Force Haiti, visited USNS Comfort Mar. 8 to express his appreciation for the hard work and dedication exhibited by the crew aboard the hospital ship during the past several weeks in supthe crew of Sailors and civil mariners whose devotion to the multinational humanitarian mission led to the successful treatment of 794 Haitians affected by the destructive 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nations capitol of Portau-Prince and surrounding areas Jan. 12. every one of you has done, from the crew to mess deck and praised their efforts alongJTF-Haiti commander commends Comforts crewBy MC2 Class Shannon WarnerUSNS ComfortDeputy Special Representative of the Sectouched, the memory of what you have done, will endure for a long time in the quake victims were triaged Jan. 19 before the ship arrived off Haitis coast. surgical suite which contains 12 operat ing rooms and met with the operating room staff responsible for 843 surgeries. to meet the needs of the people and to Walking through the corridors of the members of the crew and personally thank them. One of the Sailors greeted Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commanding general, U.S. Southern Command, and commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, speaks with Sailors aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort Mar. 8. (U.S. Navy photo by MCCS Spike Call)Reneline Llamas, a hospital corpsman. surgical technician who performed her duties in the preand post-operative care to be on this mission. I will never forget More than 20,000 service members, including 1,400 Sailors, civilian mariners and nongovernmental volunteers aboard Comfort, have provided aid during Operation in conjunction with the government of Haiti to begin the steps toward the Caribbean nations recovery from January's catastrophe. To date military forces attached to the Joint Task Force in Haiti have probottles of water, 2.2 million meals, and 149,000 pounds of medical supplies. remind folks that Haiti is still a country in


3PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Food service specialists from the 209th Military Police Company base out of Fort Polk, La. are serving hot chow at Logistics Support Area Dragon for servicemembers here. service specialist from the 209th Military Police Company from Fort Polk, La., heard that he was going to Haiti he said diers who had just gotten to the company is a good experience for them to come support for the 209th MP Co., Joint Task Force-Haiti and U.S. Army South Soling meals for Soldiers here that havent for deployment, everyone was volunteering. out I was going to Haiti, they were call ing me on my cell phone asking if they 209th MP cooks pleased to support JTF-HaitiBy Sgt. Richard AndradeXVIII Airborne Corps blessed to be here, seeing all the nations come together helping each other for a of it. I am going to be proud to go home and tell my kids, I have two girls and a Sgt. Willie Taylor, a food service spefeel sad; a lot of people are in the streets Taylor has a wife and six kids back on this mission, I hope these people here get the help that they need, and they feel Staff Sgt. Amy Hurst is also a food ser vice specialist from the 209th MP Co., and she compared the Haiti mission to Iraq. in the dining facility. Here the cooks are doing they are trained to do, which is workHurst, who has been in Haiti for a little over kids ask you for food and water, you see the The Haiti situation in improved Hurst said. I got here. They are cleaning the rubble off of When speaking of the internation al collaboration uniting to help Haiti, all the different countries and all of the branches of the military are here workCooks from the 209th Military Police Co. based out of Fort Polk, La. serve hot chow at Logistics Support Area Dragon. Some servicemembers had not eat en hot chow in over a month Mar. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade) Food service specialists from the 209th Military Police Co. based out of Fort Polk, La. are serving hot chow at Logistics Support Area Dragon. Servicemembers line up to be served at a Mobile Kitchen Trailer Mar. 3. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade)


4 yellow Labrador retriever named Spirit, bodies of American citizens that might still be under the rubble after the Jan. 12 earth quake. Dade County Fire and Rescue, Fla., is Spir its handler. Wood and Spirit are tasked to recover American citizens remains here in Haiti. very successful, I believe we have 7 recovWhile working at the Hotel Montana, kept searching and found another recovon this trip is that, at the Hotel Montana site at an area that had been cleared by other responders, by people, I decided that I was going to go in there anyway, down a tunby a dog, it is not really cleared, so I went in and I started to detail the back wall and about midpoint she alerted and there was a half years, has an advantage over her huthe nose that the dog has, there is no way Wood. monitor Spirits panting, if she is panting utes, then let her rest, I make sure I am alStormy Ripley, a personnel and recovery bring Spirit to Haiti. Spirit to come to Haiti, we may not have a top evaluator that evaluates all dogs that Labrador retriever brings special skills to HaitiBy Sgt. Richard AndradeXVIII Airborne Corps of the American citizens will be returned home by next week. she said. Ripley said some people are unaware of cadaver dogs. about or are not really educated on, or they might have a lot of myths and misunder ty Fire and Rescue, Fla. are here to recover American citizens remains that might still be under the rubble after the Jan. 12 earthquake. (Courtesy photo) When Spirit is not working with the mili out as a subcontract, or with NAVFAC Ripley said. between NAVFAC, mortuary affairs, the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, there are civilian organizations and is that you have Department of Defense and Department of State all working for ing dog, are here to recover American citizens remains that might still be under the rubble after the Jan. 12 earthquake. (Courtesy photo)


Normalcycontinued from page 1 the streets, selling second-hand clothing, beautiful paintings and hand-carved wooden sculptures. Seven weeks after the earth quake that devastated Haiti's capital, and life is ever so slowly returning to normal. Many citizens have spent these few weeks cleaning and restoring their places of business, just wanting to get back to work and restore some nor malcy to their daily routine after the traumatic events following the disaster. went back to work at the brightly painted dry-cleaning shop only 15 days after the earthquake. She sits behind an ancient, pedal-powered sewing machine every day, making clothes to sell to passersby. She has worked in the shop for two years and has always had customers. "I've nevof business." Following the earthquake, business is slow, she said, but she's not ey, she didn't expect to have the same amount of clientele as before. However, she still comes in each day, makes her clothes, and waits for business to pick up. A local supply store has also seen a decrease in customers, but for a different reason. A back-to-school paradise, the store's isles are lined with binders of evfore the earthquake, most business was school supplies," said the store manager. back to school, she said, so she's seen a drastic difference in her amount of customers. Some store owners have had more luck. One of four Delimarts, a local grocery store chain, also opened two weeks ago after spending weeks cleaning, reconstructing, and stocking the shelves. The store was full of customers perusing the aisles, inspecting merchandise and waiting in line at the cash registers. in the area two Delimarts are still under construction, while the fourth was demolished in the quake they have had a lot of business, said Samia Hage, a manager and co-owner of the grocery. "It's going slowly, but it's going well," Hage said. "We're trying to do our best." brightly colored knick-knacks and coolers full of cold drinks, stands Samson Charles, a merchant who has been in the business for 45 years. Selling these items has helped him raise 10 children and kept a roof over his families head for decades. That roof, however, collapsed, and Charles has been left without a home like so many others. He is making money at his store in Petionville, but he has also been selling his merchandise to soldiers looking to take home a Haitian souvenir. This, Charles said, has greatly improved his business A Delimart in Port-au-Prince is packed with customers, after reopening two weeks ago, more than a month after the earthquake that affected the Haitian capital. Shops throughout the city are reopening, getting back to business as they try to recover from the disaster. (Courtesy photo) Charlotte Germain, a seamstress in Port-au-Prince, poses for a picture while work ing in her shop on Feb. 27. Germain got back to work two weeks ago, less than a month after the earthquake that devistated the Haitian capital. Shops through out the city are reopening, getting back to business as they try to recov er from the disaster. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kissta M. Feldner, 2BCT PAO)and again given him a way of supporting his family. "It's not so bad", he said. He has also noticed a rise in the amount of businesses reopening, he said, slowly but surely. "I'd just like things to get back to normal", he said. And with his recent rise in business, his ability to continue to sustain his family even in these hard times, he is hopeful.5


started," said Matthew, a C-130 pilot. The C-130s are working missions to deliver relief supplies to the people of Haiti. The aircraft are loading supplies at their air port of Haiti. Once the aircraft land, the supplies are unloaded and the aircraft and crew depart again to continue with the cycle. This cycle has lead to the delivery of more than 100 tons of cargo. "We took supplies ranging from water, to humvees, to extension cords, as well as some personnel," said Matthew, who was deployed for three weeks in support of Optrip we probably hauled about 250 Americans back to the states." Matthew said through interactions with the Americans the aircraft transported back to the United States he learned of their great appreciation for what the Wing was doing. "They said that it was pretty backed up getting out of Haiti and that they waited in line for hours," said Matthew. "Some people were even turned away and told to come back at a later date, so they were thankful for the ride." While the mission of the C-130s is to transport supplies and personnel, the mission of the Commando Solo is all about transmission. over the devastation area broadcasting information regarding relief efforts to the people of Haiti through FM and AM frequencies. "We're doing what's called a real-time relay," said Aaron, an airborne communi cations system operator. "Voice of America broadcasts out of the United States from multiple locations, primarily being the east coast and southeast coast of the U.S. and we receive it on the airplane and then rebroadcast it on the different frequencies." Commando Solo is broadcasting the VOA French-Creole, the native language of Haiti, Aaron said. The Haitian government advises what messages are broadcasted to their people. The messages are primarily in regards to well as, non-interference messages, advising Haitians to not interfere with the help Spec Opscontinued from page 1coming to them, said Aaron. mando Solo has provided direct support of humanitarian aid. "It's a great opportunity to get in and do what we can to help since it is a very versatile platform as far as what we are capable of doing," said Aaron. "It's also a great testament to the Unit that we are able to go down there and help the people out when they need it." The Solo's milestone of involvement is "Radio is having a huge impact; it's the only way that they're getting information," Aaron said. "I think it's very important that we're up there doing what we're doing just to get some information to the people so they know what to do, what to expect and where to go to get what they need to sur vive." The length of the deployment for the 193rd is still undetermined as the Airmen and aircraft diligently work to provide to the people of Haiti. Whether supplies are being provided or information is being broadcasted, the Wing is continuing its role In a pasture inside Foward Operating Base Falcon of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, an AAFES trailer sits in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 4. The AAFES trailer is open allowing service members from the Joint Task Force to restock on much needed supplies. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Laughter / 2BCT, 82nd Airborne Div.)Got milk?


POSTCARDS FROM HAITI CARREFOUR, Haiti -First Lt. Maurico Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, watches a UH-1N Huey he cleared for take off at Landing Zone Argonaut. Marines from Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, MEU, and United Nations Security Forces are assisting Adventist Development Relief Agency and the World Food Program over to by Cpl. Bobbie A. Curtis / 22nd MEU) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Staff Sgt. Stephen B. Roach, a broadcast noncommissioned of Force Haiti and XVIII Airborne Corps, co-hosts an English-language radio program on a local radio station here. The XVIII Airborne Corps is in Haiti to provide command and control elements for American disaster relief and humanitarian assistance mission, Operation PORTSMOUTH, Va. -Coast Guard line handlers on the pier assist crewmembers of Coast Guard Cutter Forward with mooring up to the