Under Secretary of Army visits Joint Task Force-Haiti
By Spc. William R. Begley, 11th PADMarch 19, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (March 19, 2010) -- Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal visited Haiti March 18 to witness firsthand the devastation caused by the earthquake in January and the progress of humanitarian relief support provided by Joint Task Force-Haiti.
Accompanied by Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, commander of JTF-Haiti, Westphal visited the 377th Theater Sustainment Command and Aerial Port of Debarkation area where they were met by Maj. Gen. Luis R. Visot, commander, 377th TSC. Westphal had the opportunity to meet with the Soldiers and see how the 377th TSC provides daily logistical support to the entire joint task force for missions and operations.
Westphal also met with Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, at their White Falcon Camp where he had lunch with the junior enlisted troops. As Westphal joined the Soldiers in eating a meal ready-to-eat, he explained to the Soldiers one of the reasons for his visit.
"I wanted to get a little closer to you and find out what you're doing here," Westphal said.
While in Haiti, Westphal was able to see many of the internally displaced persons camps in Port-au-Prince and also visited one of the rubble removal sites. It was there that Westphal truly was able to appreciate the situation.
"Until you really see it, see it on the ground, and talk to people, it's hard to really grasp it from the news and the reports that we all read," he said.
Westphal concluded his visit by meeting with Soldiers at the Logistical Support Area Dragon, the operational headquarters of the joint task force. Greeted by Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, deputy commander, Joint Task Force-Haiti, Westphal was given the chance to see their capabilities and how operations are coordinated and controlled by the headquarters.
From visiting with the Soldiers of Joint Task Force-Haiti, Westphal said he was very impressed with the accomplishments of the entire operation.
"We have so many Soldiers committed to this effort and making a big difference here," he said. "In small ways, we are setting an example for how things can be accomplished."