Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SOUTHCOM Sends Team To Assess Needs In Haiti

The U.S. Defense Department's Southern Command has sent a team of 30 people to Haiti to support U.S. relief efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

The team, which includes U.S. military engineers, operational planners, and a command and control group and communication specialists which arrived on two C-130 Hercules aircraft will work with U.S. Embassy personnel as well as Haitian, United Nations and international officials to assess the situation and facilitate additional U.S. military support.

Other U.S. military assistance for Haiti thus far:

- At first light today, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated four critically injured U.S. Embassy staff to the Naval Station Guantanamo, Cuba, hospital for further treatment.

- Elements of the U.S. Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing are deployed to the international airport at Port au Prince to provide air traffic control capability and airfield operations.

- A U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aircraft from the Forward Operating Location at Comalapa, El Salvador conducted an aerial reconnaissance of the area affected by the earthquake.

- The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, is underway and expected to arrive off the coast of Haiti Thursday. Additional U.S. Navy ships are underway to Haiti.

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