Haiti Earthquake Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Two-Year Anniversary

Thursday January 12, 2012

What is it?

Two years ago a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country of Haiti on January 12, leaving tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Within days, elements from the U.S. Army and DOD deployed to Haiti under Operation Unified Response to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. At the request of the Haitian government and on order from the U.S. President, 22,000 U.S. troops with 30 ships and 300 aircraft came together to form Joint Task Force-Haiti at its peak.

What has the Army done?

With U.S. Southern Command leading the effort, U.S. Army South, who received an Army Superior Unit Award for the Haiti deployment, provided valuable land force assets. The Army provided Soldiers trained in a variety of disaster relief skills and assisted government agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. U.S. Army South specifically provided humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, logistical, aviation and security support. JTF-Haiti ended in 2010, but U.S. Army South continues to work with SOUTHCOM to provide additional support through various operations.

What does the Army have planned?

U.S. Army South, along with SOUTHCOM, will continue to build partner nation capacity with Haiti and other countries in the region. For example, U.S. Army South, as the executive agent for SOUTHCOM conducted Task Force Kout Men, Task Force Bon Voizen and the New Horizons exercises in 2010 and 2011. Army personnel built clinics, schools and latrine facilities and provided medical and dental services to the people of Haiti. New Horizons and operations such as these provide excellent real-world training for Army personnel and improve readiness.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Chief of Staff of the Army states that the Army must provide depth and versatility to the Joint Force, be effective when employed, and provide an array of options to the national leaders. The Army is - and must remain - the force of decisive action for the nation. To be this force, the Army has to be decisive in a wide range of missions including regular and irregular warfare against conventional and hybrid threats; providing humanitarian assistance, both home and abroad; engaging with the allies while building partner capacity; and supporting civil authorities. The U.S. Army enables the Joint Force with decisive and sustainable land power, while being responsive to the combatant commanders and above all, maintains trust with the American people.


The Army's Humanitarian Assistance microsite
U.S. Army South
U.S. Southern Command

AKO log-in required: Army Doctrinal Publication 3.0 (PDF)

Related STAND-TO!:
U.S. Army Support to Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Operations
Haiti Earthquake Relief

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Senior Leaders are Saying

"Army South has a mission to conduct Theater Security Cooperation and to be prepared for contingency operations. We've proven, with this deployment and with the strong allies and partners, whom we train with every year, we can conduct contingency operations and that we are prepared to respond to natural disasters, conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, support peace keeping operations and counter illicit trafficking in our area of responsibility."

- Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, commander of Army South

Army South receives unit award, celebrates 100-year milestone

What They're Saying

"Essentially, professionalizing a security force includes instilling a sense of duty and a commitment to defending a community or a nation."

- Capt. Jeremy X. Sparks, a Special Operations Command-Africa military liaison, stationed at the U.S. embassy in Burkina Faso, speaks about the collaborative security environment in which the professional Noncommissioned Officer Corps are finding more opportunities to train and mentor partner militaries on programs and techniques

NCO training program brings together African troops, communities


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