• Spc. Tommy Clark of Team D, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division hands bottled water to a local Haitian woman on Jan 29. This was the second food drop in Jammeau, Haiti for the 1/325th AIR "Red Falcons".

    Operation Unified Response

    Spc. Tommy Clark of Team D, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division hands bottled water to a local Haitian woman on Jan 29. This was the second food drop in Jammeau, Haiti for the 1/325th AIR...

  • Haitian women sit on rubble from a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 20. U.S. and international military units and civilian aid agencies are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince, Jan. 12.

    Operation Unified Response

    Haitian women sit on rubble from a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 20. U.S. and international military units and civilian aid agencies are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response...

  • A Haitian man walks past a sign requesting help and supplies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Units from all branches of the U.S. military are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response, after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage in Haiti Jan. 12.

    Operation Unified Response

    A Haitian man walks past a sign requesting help and supplies in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Units from all branches of the U.S. military are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as part of Operation Unified Response, after a 7.0 magnitude...

  • Capt. Jason Ferguson, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., brigade surgeon, wraps clean gauze around a Port-au-Prince woman's leg injury as Sgt. 1st Class Dominique Michel, 2nd BCT, translator, translates instructions on the proper care of the injury, Jan. 25.

    Operation Unified Response

    Capt. Jason Ferguson, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., brigade surgeon, wraps clean gauze around a Port-au-Prince woman's leg injury as Sgt. 1st Class Dominique Michel, 2nd BCT, translator, translates instructions on the proper care of the injury, Jan. 25.

  • Paratroopers from 2-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment place bottles of water into the pockets of an injured Haitian man during a food and water distributions effort at the National Stadium, Jan. 20.

    Operation Unified Response

    Paratroopers from 2-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment place bottles of water into the pockets of an injured Haitian man during a food and water distributions effort at the National Stadium, Jan. 20.

  • Medics assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deliver medical supplies to Ofatma Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 23.

    Operation Unified Response

    Medics assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deliver medical supplies to Ofatma Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 23.

  • A two-month-old baby receives food and medical care at the Petionville Field Hospital at the Petionville Country Club in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The club is being used as a field hospital, food distribution location and tent city to house 50,000 earthquake survivors.

    Operation Unified Response

    A two-month-old baby receives food and medical care at the Petionville Field Hospital at the Petionville Country Club in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The club is being used as a field hospital, food distribution location and tent city to house 50,000...

  • Pfc. Joseph Pissos, infantryman with Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, helps a Haitian woman open a bag of rice during a massive humanitarian aid push, designed to reach more than 2 million Haitians. 31.

    Operation Unified Response

    Pfc. Joseph Pissos, infantryman with Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, helps a Haitian woman open a bag of rice during a massive humanitarian aid push, designed to reach more than 2 million Haitians. 31.

  • Spc. Juan Valencia marks the fingernail of a Haitian child to indicate she has gone through a food and water distribution line in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18. Valencia is with the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The squadron established a forward operating base and passed out thousands of meals and bottles of water.

    Operation Unified Response

    Spc. Juan Valencia marks the fingernail of a Haitian child to indicate she has gone through a food and water distribution line in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18. Valencia is with the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd...

  • Staff Sgt. Junior Florestal gives his cousin, Sonia Catilius, a drink of water. A cook with the 82nd Airborne Div., Florestal is a Haiti native serving as a translator with the medical team.

    Operation Unified Response

    Staff Sgt. Junior Florestal gives his cousin, Sonia Catilius, a drink of water. A cook with the 82nd Airborne Div., Florestal is a Haiti native serving as a translator with the medical team.

  • Soldiers conduct relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake.

    Operation Unified Response

    Soldiers conduct relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake.

  • Capt. Amy Robinson, deputy civil affairs officer, HHC, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, smiles as the little girl she is holding puts on her patrol cap. Robinson was part of a team that delivered and set up three large tents at the Mary Katherine School and Orphanage, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 15. The school's buildings were destroyed during the earthquake that struck Haiti, Jan. 12.

    Operation Unified Response

    Capt. Amy Robinson, deputy civil affairs officer, HHC, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, smiles as the little girl she is holding puts on her patrol cap. Robinson was part of a team that delivered and set up three large tents at the Mary Katherine School and...

  • Staff Sgt. Joe Perez, a Medical Platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division wraps a girl's broken finger at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 23. Medical personnel with the 2/319th AFAR "Black Falcons" traveled around the city to find citizens in need of medical attention.

    Operation Unified Response

    Staff Sgt. Joe Perez, a Medical Platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division wraps a girl's broken finger at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince...

  • Haitians try to get back to normal daily activities, Jan. 27, in spite of the mess left by the earthquake and aftershocks in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Operation Unified Response

    Haitians try to get back to normal daily activities, Jan. 27, in spite of the mess left by the earthquake and aftershocks in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

  • An aerial view of a tent city for displaced Haitians near a landing zone for aid distribution.

    Operation Unified Response

    An aerial view of a tent city for displaced Haitians near a landing zone for aid distribution.

A massive earthquake struck Haiti Jan. 12. Two days later, paratroopers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, were on the ground in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Within 48 hours of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, paratroopers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, were on the ground in the capital, Port-au-Prince. As scenes of the devastation began circling the globe, these paratroopers were in the dust of crumbling buildings and heat of a blazing tropical sun, distributing food, water, medical care, and more importantly, a true desire to provide humanitarian aid and support to the people.

"There are guys here who just hit the ground and they're already helping," said Capt. Jason Alexander, commander of A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT. "I think that's indicative of the 82nd."

In order to expand the area in which the 2nd BCT could provide aid, each of the five battalions within the brigade created a forward operating base in a different portion of the city, to include areas like the Cite Soleil, the Petionville Club and the University Hospital. Once there, patrol teams began searching the areas most devastated by the earthquake, discovering places where people had congregated after losing their homes or shelters, and finding out what kind of aid people needed most.

As the operation name "Unified Response" indicates, the 2nd BCT "Falcons" have been working hand-in-hand with the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, United States Agency for International Development, World Food Program, the government of Haiti, volunteer organizations and community leaders.

"The Falcons are reaching and helping the people of Haiti as fast as resources become available, and we are doing everything possible to speed the process," said Lt. Col. Tim Kehoe, 2nd BCT deputy commander.

For the first two weeks, the humanitarian mission was targeted at providing for basic human needs. But, by the end of January, the Falcons began working with the USAID, WFP, and the Haitian government for a 14-day "food surge," distributing more than 1 million pounds of food each day at 14 different sites. The paratroopers distributed 100-pound-bags of rice-rations designed to feed a family of six for 14 days-which allowed Haitians to concentrate on rebuilding rather than searching for food.

The government of Haiti designated the areas of food distribution for the two-week push, but it was the troopers of the 2nd BCT who refined the geographic areas down to specific sites based on crowd control and security, said Maj. Robel Ramirez, plans officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT.

Soldiers with 1st Bn., 325th Airborne Infantry Reg., also ran a civil military operations center, where they interviewed locals in order to provide them jobs working with Soldiers as interpreters, guides and drivers-about 2,000 citizens were interviewed each day. The interviews also gave the Soldiers information about parts of the city that hadn't yet received aid, and how the locals felt about the U.S. being in Haiti, said Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Lemmons, a forward observer with the regiment's Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Another vital service the Falcons have provided in Port-au-Prince is rubble removal. Paratroopers assigned to 2nd Brigade Special Troops Bn. worked with the Center of National Equipment, a local road construction company, to clear roads throughout the city. This partnership provided a safer living environment for citizens a safer living environment, and made it easier for Soldiers and organizations to provide aid. "This is a huge mission," said Maj. Richard Ojeda, operations officer, 2nd BSTB. "The streets need to be cleaned so we can get food, water and medicine to people in need."

At press time, the 2nd BCT, in partnership with multiple organizations, was continuing to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the people of Haiti. Every new day brings more challenges to the Falcons, but they say they are determined to overcome any obstacle, and help Haitians in their time of need. "We're doing good here," said Pfc. Judah Rothenberger, a cannon crewmember with B Battery, 2nd Bn., 319th Airborne Field Artillery Reg. "We're doing the best job we can."

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