15 January 2010

US Military Rushes Aid to Haiti

A quick update thanks to Greyhawk, David Axe, Cmdr. Herb Carmen, the USNI's blog, and the US Army's Stand-to page:

1.) The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (follow them @cvn70 at Twitter), configured to carry mostly helicopters, has arrived in Haiti, with helicopters and cargo planes ferrying supplies to land. Aboard the ship are Commander Herb Carmen's old squadron, The VRC-40 Rawhides, who fly the C-2A Greyhound cargo plane.

2.) US Air Force Special Operations teams have secured the Port-au-Prince airport. 3,500 Paratroopers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division will arrive by tomorrow night.

3.) Despite initial speculation that Army rotary-wing aircraft might be on the decks of the Carl Vinson, this is not the case. As an aside, I should note that, of 10 active-duty combat aviation brigades in the US Army, four are deployed at any one time (currently the 25th CAB from Hawaii, the 3rd CAB from Georgia, the 1st Cavalry CAB from Texas and the 82nd CAB from North Carolina). The remaining aviation brigadesare either undergoing an intensive maintenance and reset cycle after a combat rotation (such as the 10th Mountain CAB from Upstate NY), or in various stages of preparation for deployment. An aviation task force from Soto Cano Airbase in Honduras, the 1-228th Aviation Regiment, might be well-suited for this task.

4.) The flotilla of ships en route to Haiti includes the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, which carries a Marine Expeditionary Unit of 2,000 Marines. Moreover, although the Bataan is not classified as an aircraft carrier, it boasts a contingent of helicopters, Osprey tilt-rotors, and Harrier jump-jets which rivals that of even the British Invincible-class Deand the Russian-made aircraft carrier Kuznetsov. Additionally, the US Navy is sending the the hospital ship USNS Comfort, as well as the dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry and USS Carter Hall to the region. These ships are expected to arrive next week.

5.) Despite committing nearly 200,000 troops to two major conflicts, the US military is throwing nearly everything it can spare at Haiti. The USNI, Wired's Danger Room, and David Axe elaborate.

6.) A problem with nearly every disaster-relief operation: who's in charge?

7.) Why sending timely aid is more important than simply sending money (Wired's Danger Room)

More as it unfolds...

Damaged Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti as shot from an RQ-4 Global Hawk.

(Photos courtesy of the "Photo of the Day" at Army Knowledge Online.


El Goyito said...

For me it's good to see the high level of cooperation among the militaries of several nations - such as Venezuela and the US working side by side to bring relief to a terrible situation.

Starbuck said...

Do you have a link to a news article about Venezuela and the US working together? I'd find that fascinating.