Fort Sam Houston, TX (February 18, 2010) : A six member team from U.S. Army South is on the way to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response to help facilitate the return of Soldiers and equipment currently deployed there. The team includes civilian and three Soldiers from the Provost Marshal's Office, and two Soldiers from the U.S. Army South Special Troops Battalion.

The team will receive special training and will provide U.S. Customs briefings to troops redeploying to their home stations. The team will also provide oversight of U.S. Customs inspections, which will be performed by members of the 65th Military Police platoon which is already in Haiti.

Members of the 65th along with the customs team will receive a two-day customs course to prepare them for their upcoming missions. The customs team will oversee the operation of the customs mission.

The 65th will help redeploy Soldiers and equipment currently in Haiti by facilitating customs inspections prior to the units leaving the country.

"Customs inspectors are the first line of defense against the introduction of foreign plants, pests and diseases to the U.S.," said Master Sgt. Nicanor Mendez, the Operations Noncommissioned Officer for the U.S. Army South Provost Marshal's Office. "It also helps prevent contraband from entering the United States."

Because the mission has no definite end date, the customs team redeployment date has not been determined. Some will be returning sooner than others.

"It all depends on how the mission is going," said Mendez. "The speed we are able to process personnel will determine when we get to go home."