On January 14, 2010, Beachmaster Unit Two (BMU-2) set sail aboard multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) for Haiti. The unit was deployed as part of Operation Unified Response to help stabilise and improve conditions in the Caribbean country following last month’s quake.
Sailors assigned to BMU-2 travel ashore each day to ensure that any incoming craft is in good condition and being properly distributed among victims. The unit also helps with the evacuation of casualties and the movement of troops, gear and supplies across the beach.
As part of their mission, BMU-2 set up an operating base at New Hope Mission in Bonel shortly after arriving on January 18. The base, which is constructed from several DRASH shelters that can be set up within minutes by minimal personnel, is being used by US Navy and Marine Corps humanitarian relief forces.
BMU-2 is just one of several units supporting relief efforts in Haiti while working aboard ships from the Bataan Amphibious Relief Force. In addition to USS Bataan, USS Fort McHenry and USS Carter Hall have also been deployed to provide military support to civilian authorities.
As relief efforts continue, personnel say that troops from these ships, as well as other Navy and Marines Corps units, will work closely with civilians to ensure that victims of the Haiti earthquake receive the relief they need.
Colonel Gareth F. Brandl, commanding officer of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary, told the United States Marines Corp website: “We are here to support the Haitian people in an area that has been hard hit by this disaster. As relief operations continue, we will further assess the needs of people in the area and refine how we can best support them with the capabilities we bring.”