Story by Capt. Annabel Monroe, Joint Task Force Bravo
SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras – In support of the whole-of-government effort led by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo) joined forces as members of Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-Haiti) to deliver much-needed aid as rapidly as possible to victims of the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, Aug. 15-Sept.13.
In support of JTF-Haiti, JTF-B delivered a total of 340,740 pounds of aid that included food, shelters, blankets, tents, tarps, water purifiers, generators and an entire mobile medical hospital to communities in need.
Aircrews with the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment flew a total of 425 hours, including 203 over water hours. The Task Force performed 74 medical evacuations of patients who were transferred from their rural communities to better equipped hospitals and transported a total of 373 critical aid and medical workers to provide care for communities in need.
Approximately 120 service members mobilized to allow mission success from a forward operation location establishing a forward arming refueling point, life-support area, a joint operations center in Haiti and an operations center at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“We are always focused on our ability to deploy within the U.S. Southern Command operating area and conduct operations to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts with our neighbors in our American hemisphere,” said U.S. Army Col. Steven Gventer, commander of JTF-B. “It is a mission we rehearse, plan and prepare for. We pride ourselves on being U.S. Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM) forward deployed reaction force to assist our partners from non-government organizations and our partner nations.”
“The Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Guardian of our Task Force are professionals, dedicated to serving our country as the go-to partner for building a safe and positive environment with our government partners like USAID and the Haitian government,” said Gventer. “I’m so proud of the JTF-Bravo team from Soto Cano Air Base, to be a part of JTF-Haiti and this important response. This is the essence of who we are as Americans and as service members we have a culture and a nature to serve our neighbors.”
The U.S. foreign disaster assistance team led by USAID worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the DOD, international partners and allies to aid and assist those impacted by this disaster.
“In total, JTF-Haiti completed 671 missions, transported 587,950 pounds of relief supplies and equipment, and assisted or rescued 477 people,” said Davids. “I am so proud of the service members of Joint Task Force-Bravo who were able to mobilize within 24 hours and support our Haitian relief efforts.”
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