By SSG John S. Laughter, 2nd BCT PAO NCOICJanuary 19, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - Toward billowing grounded parachutes attached to massive supply bundles, hundreds of Haitians stream to a hope of fresh, clean water and food. In this area, north of the capital city of Port-au-Prince, humanitarian aid and relief has not been readily available as in more populated portions of the city. But, the Paratroopers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, "Falcons," are using every available method to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti.
Using aircraft provided by the Air Force, and a drop zone secured by the Paratroopers of the 1st Squadron, 73rd Calvary Regiment, the 2nd BCT was able to provide 40 bundles, containing 11,520 meals and over 23,000 bottles of water, to a desperate location in Haiti. "We wanted to get humanitarian aid to a portion of Port-au-Prince that had not received a significant amount of aid," said Col. Chris Gibson, 2nd BCT commander. "We worked in conjunction with the Air Force to find such a location."
Women balancing boxes of MREs on their heads, children carrying flats of water bottles, or men picking up parachutes and pieces of the plywood containers to use as shelter, no part of the container delivery supply system went to waste. Circling over the drop zone in an UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Col. Gibson and CSM Bryan Meyers, 2nd BCT command sergeant major, were able to see those supplies reach the people of Haiti.
Since January 14th, the 2nd BCT has been continuously distributing food, water, medical supplies and care to the population of Haiti. The use of joint air assets from the Army, Navy and Air Force to deliver aid has expanded the 2nd BCT's efforts to deliver coordinated relief from the United Nations and other civilian organizations. "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 commanding officer.
This utilization of the CDS delivered humanitarian aid was only one portion of aid distributed by the 2nd BCT in a continual effort to reach the people of Haiti and provide assistance after the devastating earthquake. "It is another capability to help us, in conjunction with the United Nations, to deliver humanitarian aid and assistance to the good people of Haiti," Gibson said.