News / Americas

US Marines Join Relief Effort in Haiti, Hospital Ship to Arrive Wednesday

US Navy helicopter lands next to US troops in front of heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010
US Navy helicopter lands next to US troops in front of heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010

Multimedia

Audio

A 2,000-strong unit of U.S. Marines began moving ashore west of Port-au-Prince at dawn on Tuesday to help deliver relief to victims of last week's earthquake.  Some U.S. troops landed by helicopter at the presidential palace, where crowds of Haitians cheered as the troops began distributing aid.  A range of U.S. military efforts are now underway, including airdrops of supplies and the expected arrival of the huge hospital ship the USNS Comfort on Wednesday. 

With medical teams and mobile facilities from several countries already in place in Haiti, the deputy commander of the U.S. military effort there, Army Major General Daniel Allyn, says American priorities have shifted to delivering vehicles to distribute aid, machinery to produce clean water and equipment to clear rubble and begin reconstruction.  He The U.S. troops are also working with Haitian authorities to re-establish normal production and distribution of water, fuel and other key supplies.

At the same time, General Allyn says the military units must continue to transport food, water and other critical items that are needed immediately.  "The delivery of capability here in Haiti is a balancing act that requires troops on the ground to distribute humanitarian assistance, the supplies for them to distribute and the mobility necessary for them to be able to reach the communities that are most stricken," he said.

General Allyn says U.N. and Haitian forces continue to have lead responsibility for security, which he says has been mostly good in very difficult circumstances. "We are watching for signs of instability.  At present, there are pockets in areas of Haiti and the U.N. security forces are working with the Haitian national police to address those pockets as they arise.  And they have been able to effectively deal with them, and we are confident they will continue to do so," he said.

Allyn says U.S. troops so far are handling security only for their own operations - including establishing facilities on shore near the town of Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, where a Marine Expeditionary Unit began to arrive Tuesday morning.  The Marines are to distribute aid in the area, and will establish a hub for the distribution of relief supplies elsewhere.  A Pentagon spokesman says most of the Marines will be based on three ships anchored offshore, with a small security force protecting equipment and supplies onshore at night.

In addition, the U.S. Air Force conducted its first airdrop of supplies on Monday, north of Port-au-Prince, using an aircraft that flew from the United States and returned there after the drop, easing pressure on the Port-au-Prince airport.

This image taken from video shows relief supplies parachuting from a US Air Force cargo plane flying over Haiti, 19 January 2010 Author: US Air Force
This image taken from video shows relief supplies parachuting from a US Air Force cargo plane flying over Haiti, 19 January 2010 Author: US Air Force



General Allyn says such drops will resume on Wednesday.  He says ground troops need to secure drop zones for the heavy pallets of water, food and medicine, and that they need vehicles and other capabilities to secure and distribute the aid. "As our assessment determines that we have a gap between the demand on the ground and our ability to deliver, obviously we then adjust the priority on delivery of supplies coming into the theater [i.e., the area] to ensure what is needed can be met," he said.

Among those helping distribute and secure the aid are about 1,000 soldiers from one of the U.S. Army's premier combat units, the 82nd Airborne Division.  In all, General Allyn says within the next few days there will be about 5,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Haiti, with another 5,000 on the ships supporting the effort.  Among them, by Wednesday, will be the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which will add 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and hundreds of medical personnel to the resources available to help the injured.  Allyn says a Colombian hospital ship is also on the way.

The general also reports smooth operations at the Port-au-Prince airport, which has been under U.S. control since Friday by agreement with the Haitian government.  The Pentagon says the airport is handling more than 100 flights per day, nearly 10 times what it handles normally.  General Allyn says he also expects the seaport in the capital to begin at least limited operations during the next few days to enable delivery of supplies by sea.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

Peru's PM, Government to Resign After Censure Vote

Move delivers a blow to President Ollanta Humala, who will now have to form another new government
More

Argentine Workers Strike Over Income Tax Rate

With economy already weak, public transport stops, many businesses close and garbage piles up on one-day walkout
More

Tickets Go on Sale for 2016 Rio Olympics

More than half of the 7.5 million tickets will cost 70 Brazilian reais ($22) or less
More

US, Cuba Hold First Formal Talks on Human Rights

Issue contentious for conservative Republicans as President Barack Obama seeks to restore diplomatic ties
More

US State Dept Official: Cuba Aims to Ramp Up Internet Access

Cuba, a few decades late to the Internet era, is committed to getting the web into 50 percent of its households by 2020, a senior official said on Monday
More

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

World's largest gamma ray observatory will be situated high in Sierra Negra Mountain to discover secrets about black holes and supernovas
More