Three US Navy ships and other Navy planes have joined the US disaster relief effort in Haiti, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday.
The military is stationed to support the US Agency for International Development’s relief effort following the August 14 earthquake. The military response is led by Rear Admiral Keith Davids, Commander of US Special Operations Command South.
USS amphibious warship Arlington (LPD-24) has been off the coast of Haiti since the start of the week and operates with the USNS Spearhead Class Rapid Transport Burlington (T-EPF-10) and the Freedom-class Coastline Combat Ship USS Billing (LCS-15).
Both ships were deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet in support of the ongoing counter narcotics operation in U.S. Southern Command.
“Burlington uses its ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to obtain aerial images of ground destruction, which helps emergency planners determine where supplies are needed, which airfields can be used and which routes are accessible,” the 4th Fleet said in a statement. declaration.
In addition, several coast guards and planes are supporting the USAID operation.
Arlington embarked with the Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 2 to bolster the ship’s existing medical staff, adding more surgical capacity and an intensive care unit. In addition, the ship embarked with a Landing Craft Utility and two MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopters.
“Four United States Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys have arrived to provide additional options for personnel movement and supply. These air assets are in addition to the 18 US military and coastguard planes that are already supporting humanitarian relief operations. US maritime ships also continue to support, ”Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor told Pentagon reporters on Tuesday.
“In the past 24 hours, Joint Task Force Haiti has conducted 56 missions, helped save 40 lives and delivered over 35,000 pounds of merchandise, supplies and medical supplies.
On Tuesday, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that focused on the southwest of the Tiburon Peninsula “killed at least 2,207 people, injured 12,268 and destroyed nearly 53,000 homes,” according to The Associated Press.
The United States’ response this time around is much smaller than the 2010 Navy and Marine Corps operation following an earthquake that killed 200,000 people and destroyed much of the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince.
The Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-71) – in addition to the amphibious ships USS Bataan (LHD-5), USS Carter Room (LSD-50), USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43), USS Gunston Room (LSD-44), USS Nassau (LHA-4), USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) and USS Ashland (LSD-48) – to support the three-month operation.
USAID Humanitarian Aid Office Deputy Administrator Sarah Charles told reporters last week that she did not expect the destruction to be of the same magnitude.