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News | Aug. 25, 2021

DOD Continues Providing Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti

By David Vergun DOD News

Joint Task Force Haiti has conducted some 364 full-spectrum missions, as of yesterday, using DOD and U.S. Coast Guard assets, which have assisted in saving about 436 lives and delivering vital aid, according to the Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations.  

People transport a patient on a stretcher to a helicopter.
Patient Transfer
A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter crew and partner rescue agencies transfer a patient following a medical evacuation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 23, 2021.
Photo By: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Estrada
VIRIN: 210823-G-AB676-018C

Army Maj. Gen. William D. "Hank" Taylor updated the media at a briefing at the Pentagon on the Defense Department’s humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti.  

DOD and the U.S. Southern Command, in particular, are continuing to support the U.S. Agency for International Development's efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in Haiti, he said. USAID is the lead government agency.

A man directs a helicopter hovering above the flight deck of a ship.
Seahawk Guidance
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class LeAndre Clements, onboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington, directs an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, attached to the “Chargers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Detachment 5, on the flight deck of the Arlington, Aug. 17, 2021. The Arlington is assisting in the humanitarian operation in Haiti.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class John Bellino
VIRIN: 210817-N-PC065-3006C

The department has unique capabilities that are suited to humanitarian operations,  including airlift and a range of logistical and medical assets, Taylor said.

Taylor mentioned that allies and partners have also been involved in the humanitarian assistance efforts in Haiti, working together with the U.S. to identify and respond to points of need in the nation.

The humanitarian assistance operation comes in the wake of two natural disasters that have hit the Caribbean island.

People unload boxes from the cargo hold of a helicopter into a truck.
Emergency Delivery
A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter crew and partner agencies deliver emergency medical equipment and food to people in Haiti, Aug. 23, 2021.
Photo By: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Estrada
VIRIN: 210823-G-AB676-752C

First, on Aug. 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the southwest portion of Haiti, causing widespread damage, killing over 2,000, and injuring many times that number.

Haiti also took a direct hit from Tropical Storm Grace on Aug. 16, causing flooding and issues for people displaced from their homes and other structures that had been damaged by the earthquake.