PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Approximately 900 Soldiers assigned to the 7th Sustainment Brigade, based at Fort Eustis, Va., are deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response with the first wave of Soldiers having literally hit the ground running in mid-January to provide critical logistical support to the region.

"The 7th Sustainment Brigade is already establishing itself as a first-class outfit within the Joint Humanitarian Area of Operations," said Col. Chuck Maskell, brigade commander. "The first units to make an impact were the 97th Transportation Company, Heavy Boat, which brought in the first of the port opening equipment last month and have since moved hundreds of containers and pieces of rolling stock from ships as far away as 10 miles off-shore to the beach."

Moving rolling stock off Army vessels is nothing new for the brigade. Their unique Logistics-Over-The-Shore capability keep their many boat companies continuously on the move supporting a wide-variety of global missions.

"Soon, after the port was reopened the 492nd Harbor Master Detachment assumed the role as the Joint Lighterage Control Center," said Maskell. "They provide direction and control for all U.S. Army, Navy and civilian vessels working the inner harbor."

Clearing the port and getting military units and humanitarian aid on its way is the responsibility of the 119th Inland Cargo Transfer Company and the 10th Transportation Company, a newly assigned truck unit belonging to the 10th Transportation Battalion.

"The 119th ICTC is responsible for re-configuring and issuing over 450 tons of rice each day to either units of the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, or to UN forces in charge of distributing the desperately needed food to the hungry people of Port au Prince," explained Maskell.

Deploying is nothing new for the brigade's Soldiers. The headquarters company deployed to Iraq in October 2007 for 15 months. At any given time several units within the brigade are currently deployed, will be deploying or are returning from a deployment. The Soldiers of the 7th are constantly answering the call to provide support where it's needed most.

"I have been amazed at how quickly our Soldiers have adapted to their new role with this deployment," said Maskell. "Their dedication and hard work are effectively providing humanitarian aid to the people that need it the most.

"Travelling around Port au Prince quickly gives one an understanding of how import humanitarian aid is for the people of Haiti," he said. "We have a big job to do and a long way to go, but I am very proud of how our Soldiers have set the conditions for future success."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16