Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. -- A joint assessment team from the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 6, as part of a disaster relief/humanitarian assistance effort as a result of Hurricane Matthew, which has killed more than 130 people.
Additional Soldiers from the 689th could be on their way to Haiti as early as Oct. 7.
The 689th JAT will work with familiar partners in the Air Mobility Command's 621st Contingency Response Wing out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and the Defense Logistics Agency at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The entities have worked together on joint exercises such as Turbo Distribution 16-3 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, in July, and will now work together to provide humanitarian assistance in the area in a real-world scenario.
"As a rapid deploying unit, RPOE Soldiers must always be prepared to provide support anywhere in the world at a moment's notice," said Capt. Adam Grover, 689th commander, who is part of the JAT in Haiti. "This (Hurricane Matthew) is why we executed the joint training exercises that we have in the past. We look forward to working with the 621st and DLA to provide help in any way we can in response to the hurricane."
The 689th RPOE, along with the 688th and 690th RPOE fall under the 833rd Transportation Battalion and 597th Transportation Brigade headquartered at JBLE as well as the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois). The RPOEs are the Army's surface element for both the Seaport of Debarkation and Airport of Debarkation of United States Transportation Command's Joint Task Force-Port Openings mission.