PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Joint Task Force - Haiti is in its seventh day of continuing to support the World Food Program's structured bulk food distribution program here today.

"Friday, elements of the task force supported Non-governmental Organizations in distributing 1.4 million bulk rations to 165,000 Haitian citizens at 16 main distribution points," said Col. Gregory Kane, director of operations for the JTF-H and XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

JTF-H operations have gone according plan, with the U.S. forces working in cooperation with the United Nations, the government of Haiti, and NGOs to make sure that aid gets out to those who need it.

The process of the food distribution begins early in the morning, around 3 a.m., with the marshaling of forces and moving the food from the logistic support area to the distribution point. Most of the points open around 7 a.m. and are finished issuing the rations between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The process ends around 2 p.m. and preparation for the next day begins.

"At the end of the day, we sit down and assess what happened that day, and when necessary, make adjustments to make the whole process better," said Kane.

The JTF-H also has plans to transfer some of the main relief areas to civilian aid agencies and other means of international assistance.

"U.S. forces will move to where there is still a need for us and we will go where there are no other assets to assist," said Kane. "In the upcoming days when more coalition forces arrive, we will reorient ourselves to the areas with less NGO and aid representation."

"These techniques, capabilities and levels of organization that we are employing here is what allows the U.S. military to respond to domestic national emergencies," Kane said. "This same infrastructure lends itself to immediate response to international humanitarian aid missions as well."

The JTF-H will remain is Haiti, providing direct support to the U.S. Agency for International Development as long as it is needed and is welcomed by the government of Haiti.

"The military portion of the operation, if you follow historical trends, will probably last 45-50 days," said Kane. "Then you will see other agencies, both international and American, step forward and take on a larger role."

"Everyone here is working for one effort and that is to provide aid, humanitarian relief, and disaster assistance to the Haitian people," said Kane.

Page last updated Sat February 6th, 2010 at 17:22