02 February 2010

Operation Unified Response Update


I escaped the winter weather in Norfolk and I’m now visiting with the Sailors of the BATAAN ARG and USNS COMFORT supporting the joint force relief effort in Haiti.  I’ll have some great stories and pictures for you of what our Sailors are doing when I get back.

In my last update, I mentioned our Logistics Over-the-Shore (LOTS) capability which is providing a much needed lighterage system until Haiti’s seaport is rebuilt. 

Right now, we have 28 US ships on station, underway, or preparing to get underway in support of OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE.  As you can see from the Force Laydown slide, we are joined by ships from many other nations.  The importance of building partnerships and executing our maritime strategy has paid great dividends in developing this multinational response.

Finally, I want to leave you with another update from Captain Dom DeScisciolo (CO, USS BUNKER HILL) -- another great story you probably won’t hear on the news of U.S. Navy Sailors making it happen.    All the best, JCHjr.


The little town we provided relief for today (Picmi, on the southeast coast of La Gonave) had actually written "SOS" in the sand (picture attached).  Ops had flagged down a helo and gone up for her daily 'aerial recon' the other day and thought she saw the letters while she was taking pictures.  When she got back and we looked at the photos - sure enough, it was there!  We sent in our survey team this morning and found nearly 2,000 residents with no food or water.  Plus we were the FIRST assistance they'd seen since the earthquake 17 days ago.

We began our by now trademark water-and-food shuttle with the RHIBs, and we ended up providing nearly 2,000 meals (MREs) and 400 gal water before wrapping up at sunset.  No medevacs today, but HMC and his team still provided care for over 200 persons (mostly children).  All in all a good day.  And all from an "SOS" in the sand...

Our 6th town in 8 days... V/R Dom


Average Fleet Sailor said...


Truly appreciate your updates and highlights. I actually view your website weekly to see what is going thru the boss's mind. Your updates on the operations in support of Haiti are inspiring.

Average Fleet Sailor

Get A Trip.com said...

I must admire this "Unified Response" as I have always kept up on improvements in our response times, unification integration, etc. and I have to say, there is a wide margin now of such great strides to what it was when I was a young Marine working with Naval Intelligence. That was a little over 20 years ago and obviously vast improvements have been made since then. Job well done guys!

Old Navy Vet said...

I most wholeheartedly agree with "Get A Trip.com's" remarks. This whole evolution had all the potential in the world to turn really ugly for the United States, and especially the U.S. Navy. Now, we are seen in the best possible light as the Navy we REALLY are and can be...that FORCE FOR GOOD that has been bantered about lately. It suddenly feels great to see and hear it.

Admiral, I am also not so brain dead as to believe that you were NOT working on the "Swan Theory" when you sent the Vinson to initially set up camp for the hordes to follow. It HAD to work, and you made it so.

Bravo Zulu to you, USFF, and the entire Unified Response Team, who truly illuatrated to the world the text-book example of what a "unified response" is supposed to look like! Without the great sacrifices your Sailors and Marines are making in Haiti, surely the situation would deteriorated to an untenable situation that would have taken YEARS to straighten out. I know it's going to take a lot of time for these poor folks to rebuild a viable infrastruture, but every journey starts with a single step. Your steps have put the Haitians light-years ahead of where they COULD have been without Unified Response.
Another Admiral J.C. Harvey Jr., "Job -Well Done."

Aaron Kakiel said...

Captain DeScisciolo
The service you and your team are providing is truly admirable. It was great that your ops was able to spot the SOS in the sand. Do you have regular flights going on to locate other communities that are still awaiting aid?

I appreciate the personal touches in the posting and the effort your crew is putting forth.

Keep up the great work.