Report from an Airman in Haiti

Chief Master Sergeant Tyler Foster is the Air Force Special Operations CommandPublic Affairs deployed chief of operations at the Troussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince, Haiti.  He and his team are supporting U.S. Southern Command relief efforts in the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the island nation.

100115-F-1443G-011America’s Airmen hit the ground running here early this week as part of the U.S. Southern Command contingent associated with earthquake relief operations.

Combat Control Teams from Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., immediately established control of the airspace and have facilitated more than 125 landings here. Today Haitian air controllers returned to duty, providing long range control while the CCTs prioritized incoming aircraft, directed landings and take offs while balancing confined parking ramp space.

Special Operations weathermen kept incoming and outgoing aircrews apprised of real-time weather data enabling safe and smooth operations at this austere location.

Air Force pararescue jumpers waded into the fray of destruction, assisting civilian rescue agencies operating within the devastated capital. More than 20 people who were still alive were reported to have been removed from the rubble.

100115-F-9712-029Air Force security forces teamed with Navy relief flights to provide security at multiple humanitarian supply landing zones. Today’s flights marked a significant milestone as incoming supplies reached the many victims in need of life-sustaining support. 

Through it all, Air Force medium and heavy lift cargo aircrews pushed their equipment and selves to the limit to maximize inbound supplies and equipment while evacuating American victims of the 7.4 earthquake that struck here January 12.

Support personnel continue to build the base of operations in order to sustain the forces executing and facilitating this immense humanitarian relief effort. Over the last five years, USSOUTHCOM has charted 14 successful relief operations, including Haiti in September 2008.

Cutline for top right photo:  Staff Sgt. Caleb Barmody helps to unload supplies from a Charleston C-17 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Jan. 15, 2010. Air Mobility Command is participating in a swift and coordinated relief effort to save lives and alleviate human suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake. Sergeant Barmody is an air transportation journeyman with the 817th Global Mobility Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Katie Gieratz)

Cutline for bottom left photo:  U.S. citizens evacuate from Toussaint Louveture International Airport, Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 15, 2010. The evacuees were flown out on a C-17 Globemaster III from Dover Air Force Base, Del. Haiti was struck by an earthquake that leveled much of the countries infrastructure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Russell E. Cooley IV)

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