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News | Aug. 23, 2021

Joint Task Force-Haiti Commander Visits Earthquake Epicenter with JTF-Bravo’s Commander, 1-228th Aviation Regiment

By Tech. Sgt. Marleah Cabano, Joint Task Force Bravo

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander of Joint Task Force-Haiti, U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and U.S. Army Col. Steven Gventer, commander of Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), Soto Cano, Honduras, visited the epicenter of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Aug. 21, in Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, Haiti, to assess damage and critical infrastructure.

At the request of USSOUTHCOM, service members deployed to support relief efforts for the people of Haiti after the nation was hit by an earthquake, Aug. 14. The Joint Task Force includes all five branches of the U.S. military and assets from each branch.

“The Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Guardians 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 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Haitian government,” said Gventer. “We are here to support our Haitian neighbors.”

Davids, Gventer and senior leaders from Haiti, were flown to multiple locations by a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aircrew, where the earthquake caused the most damage.

“This trip provided senior leaders from Haiti and JTF-Haiti with a chance to see and talk with the people most impacted by the recent earthquake,” said Gventer. “Getting to see and hear their needs, and see firsthand the problems they face, helps to address it properly and quickly.”

After the earthquake, USSOUTHCOM stood up Joint Task Force-Haiti to coordinate military support under Davids, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, South.

“Our goal is to save lives, alleviate suffering and demonstrate our enduring commitment to our Haitian partners,” said Davids. “We are working around the clock in support of USAID, who is the lead U.S. federal agency for foreign disaster assistance, to get aid to where it is needed most and as quickly as possible.”