Since the earthquake that devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010, thousands of US troops have poured into the country to help distribute food, water, medicine and other supplies to survivors and to evacuate patients in need of medical care.
Among the first troops to arrive were personnel from several units stationed at Fort Bragg. Part of Joint Task Force-Haiti, the task force organized by US Southern Command to oversee US relief efforts in the country, the 18th Airborne Corps quickly deployed a 1,120 square foot DRASH trailer mounted support system (TMSS) large and a 442 square foot TMSS medium to be used for command and control efforts.
Also assisting with command and control operations in Haiti, the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2nd BCT) deployed a TMSS large and fourteen TMSS medium. The 2nd BCT, which was deployed to Haiti as part of the US global response force, planned to use the systems as command and control centres as well as possible aid stations.
The TMSS systems were fielded to the units as part of the US Army’s Standard Integrated Command Post System (SICPS) programme. The systems come complete with generators and environmental control units to create a fully equipped workspace capable of running computers, lights and other necessary equipment.
Support for relief mission tasks
Since the January quake, Fort Bragg has sent more than 3,100 troops to assist in relief efforts in Haiti. In addition to helping run command and control, the soldiers have helped with various relief mission tasks, including establishing communication in the country and instructing citizens of when and where supplies will be provided.
About 40 personnel from the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion were sent to Haiti to instruct people on how to find clean water and receive food and medical supplies. The unit deployed several DRASH POPS-Ls to support their efforts.
First fielded in 2008, POPS-L is a mobile printing facility used by psychological operations elements to print materials directly in the field. The facility, which provides more than 300 square feet of insulated space, can cut and box 100,000 leaflets within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, members of the 18th Fires Brigade deployed several DRASH shelters to be used with their satellite communications trailers.
Military forces from around the world have been deployed to Haiti to help with relief efforts, including thousands of personnel from US Southern Command and military units based across the country.