SOLLIMS Sampler Special Edition, May 2017 - Page 21

d. TOPIC. “Whole of International Community” for Foreign Disaster Relief (Lesson #700) Observation. During the 2010 earthquake relief operation in Haiti, a myriad of organizations carried out disaster relief roles, but no collective command and control structure was in place to manage the whole effort. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) served as the lead agent for the United States; however, it relied heavily on the supporting effort provided by the U.S. military to manage the effort. The U.S. military's Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-Haiti) was the driving force for planning and delivering relief in the initial/emergency phase of the operation. Additionally, JTF-Haiti took a lead role in organizing and synchro- nizing a large part of subsequent (post-emergency) relief efforts through a number of innovations in partnering, coordinating, communicating, and building unity of effort among the participating organizations. In a disaster relief operation of this magnitude, such work to gain a “whole of international community” approach is invaluable in gaining efficiencies, saving lives, and mitigating suffering. Discussion. The devastation in Haiti resulting from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake of 12 January 2010 prompted the longest and largest U.S. military effort in a foreign disaster relief operation. At the peak of Operation Unified Response, in February 2010, JTF-Haiti was comprised of over 22,000 service members, 58 aircraft, and 23 ships. Within just two days of the disaster, on 14 January, the headquarters for JTF-Haiti was established by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) – to conduct humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster relief operations in support of the lead federal agency, USAID. JTF-Haiti assumed responsibility for all U.S. forces and began directing activities to assist in providing timely relief. The Department of Defense ordered elements of the Global Response Force (the XVIII Airborne Corps assault command post, 2nd Brigade/82nd Airborne Division, 58 rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft) and the USS Carl Vinson, USS Bataan, USS Nassau, and USS Carter Hall to the JTF-Haiti mission. These forces, along with personnel from the SOUTHCOM staff, the Joint Force Special Operations Component, and the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, provided the crux of JTF-Haiti assets. In the initial emergency phase, the 2nd Brigade/82nd Airborne, under the direction of the JTF-Haiti headquarters (the core of which was the XVIII Airborne Corps assault command post) conducted and supported continual humanitarian aid distribution missions (interagency missions) in the heaviest impacted areas of Port-au-Prince. 16 distribution sites were established to provide food, water, and medical care – for well over one million people. On 20 January, the hospital ship Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 20 of 36