Haiti: Boots on the ground

Posted By: azbob

Haiti: Boots on the ground - 02/02/10 04:38 PM

Report by Colonel Buck Elton on the first few weeks of the tragedy in Haiti:

On Jan 13th I deployed with a few hours notice to Port au Prince to command a team of Air Commandos from Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field on a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief mission in Haiti. We launched from Hurlburt within a few hours of notification without knowing what to expect at the airfield due to very limited communications with anyone in Haiti. We landed at 7 pm EST and had the Port au Prince airfield under our tactical air traffic control (ATC) 28 minutes later.

I am the commander of the Joint Special Operations Air Component-Haiti. I lead a force of 220 airmen (down to 164 now) executing ATC, airfield security, rescue, critical care evacuation, special operations surgical teams, aerial port duties, humanitarian airdrop surveys, planning, and DZ control, rotary wing ops command and control, communications specialists and logistics professionals. Most of us operated non-stop without sleep for the first 40 hours. We had no showers for the first 9 days; I slept 9 hours in the first 4 days. We are still eating only MREs, mosquitoes everywhere and absolute carnage outside of the wire. The stench of rotting bodies in the rubble makes driving in some areas difficult. Buildings are destroyed everywhere in the city and parts of the country. There are 59 confirmed and 37 reported (unconfirmed) US fatalities and up to 150,000 Haitian citizens reported dead or missing.
The complete report:
Posted By: seashell

Re: Haiti: Boots on the ground - 02/03/10 02:58 AM

Thanks AZ.
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