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Fort Bragg continues to make progress in Haiti mission

Jan 28, 2010

By Eve Meinhardt/Paraglide

FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The Soldiers on the ground in Haiti continue to coordinate efforts with the Soldiers and the Airmen back at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, N.C. to carry out the humanitarian efforts in Haiti.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, deputy commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps, was one of the first members of the corps staff to hit the ground in Haiti. He is currently serving as the deputy commanding general for Joint Task Force - Haiti. He said that he is proud of the progress being made in delivering aid to the people of Haiti.

"Those who are here on the ground will tell you the magnitude of the effort is hard to describe and the need in the country of Haiti is indescribable," said Allyn in a video-teleconference from the joint task force headquarters in Haiti, Tuesday.

"Suffice to say, that in my 30 years of service, traveling to many places around the globe, no place comes close to what is needed here in Haiti in terms of returning them to a sense of fundamental life support and services."

To provide this support, about 3,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division's global readiness force, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and about 250 Soldiers from the XVIII Abn. Corps headquarters deployed to Haiti after an earthquake struck the country Jan. 12.

While Allyn and the Soldiers on the ground continue providing water, food and aid to the people of Haiti, Fort Bragg and Pope AFB continue to work together to ensure sustained supply replenishment and support.

"We could not have accomplished this mission to date without the great support of the Air Force, who provided dedicated airmen on the ground here at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base and all the airplanes to provide delivery of humanitarian supplies and the air landing of equipment and our troopers," said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, commanding general, XVIII Abn. Corps. "The Air Force is a great partner in everything we do here at Fort Bragg."

Col. James Johnson, commander, Pope AFB, said the partnership is essential to accomplish this mission. In the short period of time since the event, Pope AFB has moved more than 2,500 tons of cargo and more than 2,500 soldiers with a 95 percent departure reliability rate.

"In about 10 days Pope Air Force Base has executed the contingency out load of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd and elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps," said Johnson.

"This is important because this is the first time that a brigade deployment has been completely supported by air lift. Our Green Ramp at Pope Air Force Base was the power projection platform to accomplish that feat with the great Soldiers from Fort Bragg."

Allyn and Helmick both praised the efforts of the Fort Bragg Soldiers on the ground for their passion and dedication to doing everything they can to assist the people of Haiti.

Because relief is still needed and aftershocks continue to hit the country, currently, there is no set date on when Soldiers will begin to come home. Allyn said that right now, the sentiment among the Soldiers is that they are where they need to be.

"We're not focused on when someone is coming in behind us or when someone is going to make a decision that there is a transition phase. We're focused on ensuring that the emergency aid gets where it needs to get to and that we support all those who need to get it there fast."

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