National Guard ready to help in Haiti
By Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
National Guard Bureau
Tech. Sgt. John Stone of the 249th Airlift Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard, leads communications while crews remove cargo from a C-17 Globemaster III of the 517th Airlift Squadron, from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Jan. 21, 2010. Two Humvees and a water tank were delivered to help the Haiti relief effort. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura Turner)
ARLINGTON, Va., (1/13/10) â€“ The chief of the National Guard Bureau said today that the Army and Air National Guard are prepared to help in the humanitarian relief effort in Haiti.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Haitian people, who have been devastated by this earthquake," said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief National Guard Bureau. "The National Guard stands ready to work with the Army and the Air Force to provide humanitarian assistance to Haiti when called upon."
Specifically, the Puerto Rico National Guard, which is one of the closest U.S. territories in the area, has personnel and equipment on standby if they are needed.
The Puerto Rico Army Guard has alerted three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the 1/111th Aviation Company along with 12 crew members, and the Puerto Rico Air Guard has called up two C-130 aircraft from the 156th Airlift Wing with 21 support personnel, said Army Capt. Paul Dahlen, the state public affairs officer.
He said the aircraft have anticipated deployment times, but they are waiting for final approvals.
U.S. Southern Command is coordinating with the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to assess the situation after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake left perhaps thousands of people dead and many more trapped beneath collapsed buildings, officials reported.
â€œIf we are asked by the Department of State and the Department of Defense to provide assistance, we would do so in a supporting role,â€ according to a statement from SOUTHCOM. â€œThe U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is the lead U.S. government agency for U.S. disaster relief efforts.â€
Command officials said they will deploy a team of 30 people to Haiti today, including military engineers, operational planners and a command and control group and communication specialists on the two C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. The team will work with U.S. Embassy personnel as well as Haitian, United Nations and other officials to assess the situation to provide follow-on support.
The last time the National Guard supported relief efforts in Haiti was 2008, when eight Air National Guard medical personnel were onboard the USS Kearsarge when it was diverted from its Continuing Promise mission to Haiti, which was devastated by Hurricane Ike.
â€œWith nearly 450,000 people throughout 54 states and territories, the National Guard can deploy and respond to any disaster as needed, anywhere,â€ said Walt Debany, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau.
According to news reports, the quake was felt in the Dominican Republic as well as Guantanamo Bay.
Arkansas and Rhode Island Guardsmen currently deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo also felt the tremors from yesterdayâ€™s earthquake in Haiti.
Air Force Lt. Col. Denise Boyer, the commander of the 474th Expeditionary Combat Engineering Squadron, which is made up of about 50 Air National Guard members, said she was in her tent when the earthquake hit yesterday after duty hours.
â€œThe tent shook, the floor shook, everything kind of rumbled around,â€ she said. â€œHonestly, it felt like a big 18-wheeler rolled by outside.â€
Boyer said they have previously experienced seismic activity at Gitmo, but â€œthis was definitely bigger than what we had in the past.â€
The Navy engineers at Gitmo are dealing with some water breaks, but Boyer said her engineers are not responsible for any hard structures on the base.
â€œTents fair a lot better in an earthquake,â€ she said.
National Guard Bureau
- Army Guard joins airlift efforts for Haiti - February 19, 2010
- Air Guard scales back Haiti relief efforts - February 19, 2010
- Guard air traffic controllers keep their eyes on the skies in Haiti - January 27, 2010
- Army Guard prepares for bigger role in Haiti - January 25, 2010
Department of Defense
- New Horizons exercise an international effort - June 30, 2010
- VFW provides airline tickets to Haiti - February 23, 2010
- AMC total force provides hope to Haiti - February 19, 2010
- Transition to return tower to Haitian controllers begins - February 17, 2010
- Operation Unified Response transitions to Haitian self-sustainment - February 4, 2010
- Site provides instructions for transporting aid - January 28, 2010
- Officials consider role in Haiti beyond immediate relief - January 28, 2010
- DoD official highlights Guard's role in Haiti response - January 25, 2010
- Military preps for broader Haiti relief mission - January 14, 2010
- Military assesses Haiti disaster, readies for response - January 13, 2010
- Alaska Air National Guard Airlift Squadron Assists in Haitian Relief Efforts - February 24, 2010
- Alaska Guard pledges support to Haitian recovery efforts - January 19, 2010
- Arkansas ANG deploys disaster relief beddown set - January 25, 2010
- Arkansas ANG to deploy seven troops for imagery analysis - January 22, 2010
- Colorado Army Guard provides disaster relief to quake-ridden country - March 11, 2010
- Colorado Guard joins disaster relief efforts in Haiti - January 28, 2010
- Connecticut Air Guard to provide services in Haiti - January 28, 2010
- Connecticut Airmen provide command and control support for Haiti - January 28, 2010
- Florida ANG works to facilitate relief flights - January 25, 2010
- AFNORTH assists with Haitian relief efforts - January 19, 2010
- Florida Guard establishes flight operations center for Haiti - January 18, 2010
- Waiting for the 'sadness to hit' - January 15, 2010
- Hawaii ANG crews fly C-17s to assist Haiti relief effort - January 26, 2010
- Soldierâ€™s family in Haiti during earthquake - January 22, 2010
- Illinois ANG to coordinate delivery of supplies to Haiti - January 19, 2010
- Engineers draw on Greensburg experience in Haiti - March 8, 2010
- Kansas engineers erect camp for Airmen in Haiti - February 18, 2010
- Kansas civil engineers build hospital in Haiti - February 2, 2010
- 190th trains in Cuba; deploys to Haiti - January 28, 2010
- Kentucky Airmen move relief supplies through Dominican Republic - January 29, 2010
- Kentucky ANG supports deploying Fort Knox Soldiers - January 28, 2010
- Kentucky combat controllers set up drop zones, airfield operations in Haiti - January 25, 2010
- Kentucky ANG to establish airbase in Dominican Republic - January 22, 2010
- Kentucky Guard sends combat controllers to Haiti - January 19, 2010
- Louisiana Guard completes training mission in Haiti - September 15, 2010
- Louisiana Air Guard takes communications lead for Task Force Kout Men - September 13, 2010
- Louisiana Guardsmen help with three school projects in Haiti - July 13, 2010
- Louisiana Guardsmen build school in Haiti - June 21, 2010
- Missouri Guard sends C-130 to support Haiti relief efforts - February 3, 2010
- Missouri ANG deploys to Arizona in support of relief operations - January 20, 2010
- Total Force crew delivers Soldiers, communication equipment to Haiti - Febraury 1, 2010
- Minnesota ANG supports Haitian earthquake relief - January 22, 2010
- New York ANG crew flies water into Haiti - February 12, 2010
- New York Airmen fly relief missions into Haiti - February 12, 2010
- New York engineers support earthquake relief efforts from Guantanamo - February 1, 2010
- New York Airmen at Guantanamo Bay provide engineer support to Haiti - January 21, 2010
- New York rescue teams depart from Stewart Air Guard Base - January 19, 2010
- New York Air Guardsmen headed For Haiti - January 19, 2010
- North Dakota Guardsmen return from Haiti - June 24, 2010
- North Dakota Soldiers provide force protection in Haiti - June 4, 2010
- Hooligan mission to Haiti cancelled - February 5, 2010
- Happy Hooligans Respond to Haiti Relief Effort - January 19, 2010
- Ohio ANG pilot describes scene in Haiti - January 15, 2010
- Ohio Air Guard C-130s deliver first relief teams - January 14, 2010
- Four Oregon engineers return from Haiti - March 17, 2010
- Oregon weathermen to deploy to Haiti - February 2, 2010
- Coronet Oak aircrews respond to Haiti earthquake - January 26, 2010
- Puerto Rico ANG evacuates 70 from Haiti - January 19, 2010
- Puerto Rico ANG operationally ready - January 19, 2010
- Pennsylvania ANG to broadcast to Haiti citizens - January 19, 2010
- Rhode Island ANG deploys to Haiti - January 22, 2010
- South Dakota Airmen mobilized for Haiti deployment - February 1, 2010
- Texas ANG prepares for Haiti duty - January 25, 2010
- Texas ANG delivers rescue team to Haiti - January 19, 2010
- Virgin Islands unit provides water for Haiti troops - August 9, 2010
- West Virginia ANG wraps up Haiti relief effort for now - January 20, 2010
- West Virginia ANG sets up staging area for relief supplies - January 15, 2010
- Wisconsin Airman serves three tours in Haiti - June 28, 2010
- Wisconsin Guard to assist Haiti relief efforts - February 4, 2010