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American Forces Press Service

Lynn Salutes U.S. Relief Efforts in Haiti

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2010 – U.S. military and other assistance provided to earthquake-stricken Haiti “are helping to make a desperate situation a little less desperate each day,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here today.

“The stories of our relief efforts emerging from Haiti should make us all proud,” Lynn told military and civilian attendees at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis-Fletcher Conference on National Security Strategy and Policy.

U.S. servicemembers, Lynn said, are working in difficult conditions as part of an international effort to bring aid to the Haitian people. Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake Jan. 12.

As of today, he said, more than 13,000 U.S. troops -- including about 10,000 aboard ships off Haiti’s shore and around 3,000 posted ashore -- are participating in relief operations.

U.S. troops in Haiti are working with the host government and international organizations, Lynn said, as part of a successful effort to provide food, water and medical care to the Haitian people.

Meanwhile, he said, the U.S. military in Haiti also is delivering 43,000 hand-held radios, while working to reopen the Port-au-Prince seaport and unloading cargo from more than 150 aircraft each day.

“We’re going to be there to see Haiti through to recovery,” Lynn said, adding assistance will be provided to Haiti “as long as it is needed.”

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