Sustainers return from Haiti
March 17, 2010
FORT KNOX, Ky. - Soldiers from Fort Knox's 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) returned from Haiti during a ceremony held here on Mar. 9, at Sadowski Field House.
The ceremony marked the official return for the 3d ESC soldiers from the devastated nation where they formed Joint Logistics Command-Haiti in support of relief efforts stemming from a Jan. 12 earthquake.
The deployment was the first in support of a humanitarian mission for the 3d ESC, which returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq in August 2009.
Welcoming the unit was numerous friends and Families, as well as Col. Jeffery Davidson, the Fort Knox chief of staff, who officiated the ceremony.
Impressed by the units accomplishments in Haiti after only being home less than six months from an Iraq deployment, Davidson told the unit that "twice in recent history, you have placed the needs of others about your own."
While in Haiti, the 3d ESC Soldiers joined 3d ESC commander, Col. (P) Robin Akin, to form JLC-Haiti and provide command and control of sustainment, health service support and distribution operations in support of Joint Task Force - Haiti.
Even though the command had returned from an Iraq deployment less than six months before leaving for Haiti, 3d ESC Soldiers were proud to lend Haiti a helping hand in any way that they could.
Akin mentioned that the humanitarian mission was the largest in history and that she was thoroughly pleased with her unit's accomplishments and dedication to the mission, even though they had no formal training in administering humanitarian aid.
"All of the accolades go to the Soldiers," said Akin. "Our common Soldiers have done a lot of uncommon things."
Along with the 3d ESC, JLC-Haiti consisted of the 7th Sustainment Brigade and the 56th Multi-functional Medical Battalion and included more than 2000 service members.
Under the leadership of the 3d ESC, JLC - Haiti aided thousands of Haitians while sustaining US troops deployed to aid in the humanitarian effort.
While deployed to Haiti, the 3d ESC assisted in the completion of 2,704 humanitarian aid / distribution missions, fed 530,166 Haitian families, transported 29,351 short tons of supplies and performed 1,008 preventative medicine assessments.
Though many Soldiers were pleased with their efforts in the earthquake ravaged nation, others were more appreciative of what they have here after visiting Haiti.
"I really feel good that we were able to go over and help the less fortunate," said Master Sgt. Lerissa Wilson, the 3d ESC's master chaplain assistant and Lynchburg, VA, native. "You look at life differently when you come back to the states from somewhere like Haiti. You appreciate what you have here because there they have little or nothing, but somehow their spirits remain high."