US military engineers are concentrating on three major construction and clearing initiatives to help reopen crucial transport arteries and improve access to earthquake-stricken Haiti.
Speaking at the Military Engineering Conference in Munich this January, US Navy Rear Admiral Mark Handley identified port clearance, road clearance and opening airfields as three areas where US engineers will be deploying their resources.
“Haiti’s close proximity to Guantanamo Bay on Cuba means our engineers and naval forces are uniquely positioned to assist,” he said.
The Admiral identified clearing impassable roads as an immediate priority, as well as opening up airfields and dispatching naval engineering teams to reopen Haiti’s damaged port to improve the flow of relief supplies from sea.
Navy divers and salvage teams will be dispatched to help clear the port below the surface and engineers will be tasked with setting up temporary causeway points for large ships.
The admiral also identified the need to set up a fully functional medical camp and dispatch expeditionary medical forces inland to prepare for a transition from the navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is currently stationed offshore.