U.S. Defense Dept. continues aiding Haiti following earthquake and tropical storm

The U.S. military has flown 560 sorties to Haiti, providing rapid logistical and airlift support, including delivery of more than 348,000 pounds of aid, the Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations said.

Army Maj. Gen. William D. “Hank” Taylor spoke on this and other topics during a press briefing Aug. 30, 2021.

SGT Amberlynn Hinckley assist members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) while performing first aid to a local woman from the La Flandre community in Haiti, Aug.22, 2021. Guardsmen from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard Aviation have been assisting in the aid-relief efforts in the country since Aug. 17.

The humanitarian assistance operation comes in the wake of two natural disasters that recently hit the Caribbean island.

First, on Aug. 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the southwest area of Haiti, causing widespread damage, killing over 2,000, and injuring many more.

Haiti also took a direct hit from Tropical Storm Grace on Aug. 16, resulting in flooding and compounding the damage from the earthquake.

Air Force Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman, a Defense Department spokesman, said that as of Aug. 30, the Joint Task Force Haiti team has saved or assisted in saving more than 475 lives. The JTF is composed of personnel, equipment, ships and aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard.

The U.S. military “has been working around the clock to save lives and deliver aid since Aug. 14,” and will continue with that mission, supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, as well as working with international partners and allies to provide life-saving aid and assistance to the people of Haiti, Hoffman said.

United States Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, deliver cases of food from an MV-22B Osprey in support of Joint Task Force-Haiti for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 27, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caleb Stelter)

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