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Rendering Aid

OK, first off the military is not acting as “Meals on Wheels” in Haiti or anywhere else, except where individual members volunteer their time to the program, which many of them do. The military community provides a lot of support to aid agencies through direct payroll deduction. Although they are not paid like bankers, they have always been generous.

Much of what the military is doing in Haiti is good training for their primary mission, and they have to train to maintain that proficiency. The pararescue mission is no different in collapsed building caused by earthquakes, or those collapsed by bombing. Setting up emergency airfields in primitive conditions, is what Special Tactic teams of the Spec Ops Command does, and they are working with aircraft from multiple nations, as they do in NATO operations, like Afghanistan.

When the amphibious force under the USS Bataan arrives they will start moving cargo from ships to shore where no docking facilities exist. That’s what their military mission is, and this is just another mission.

The Haiti mission will probably include at least one field hospital, and military medicine has been doing this since at least the Civil War.

The military will also be rotating out MREs [Meals-Ready to-Eat] to the people on shore. They don’t last forever, and it is better to have people eat them, than simply have to throw them out when they hit their “use by” date.

As far as the military is concerned this is good training, that would have had to have been done anyway, and much of the cost will come from the standard training budget. As a bonus it looks like this will be a combined command, multi-national operation which are damned expensive when they are scheduled, and not terribly realistic.

Doing these operations is good for morale in the military. Guys volunteer for these operations, because you get training time without getting shot at, and people appreciate what you are doing. This is something you can talk about without running into OpSec [Operational Security] hassles. It is considered good duty, and you score more “fruit” for the “salad” over your left pocket.


1 Steve Bates { 01.17.10 at 8:40 pm }

Forgive my popping a bubble, but…

I’ve read in a couple of places that US DOD has control of the one working runway at the one surviving airport, and that they are declining to let a MSF plane containing a mobile (inflatable?) hospital land. MSF is IMO one of the finest NGOs in the whole tragic endeavor; they often get money from me in such catastrophes. What’s with the reported refusal of landing permission?
.-= last blog ..Wired-Fi =-.

2 Bryan { 01.17.10 at 9:32 pm }

They are backed up at the airport and can’t clear cargo from the apron as fast as they can land it, nor can they refuel aircraft. They are limiting landings to those with the ability to leave with their own on-board fuel, and are having to wait for parking space. The airport is working, but nothing around it is.

They need the roads out of the airport cleared so that bigger trucks can come in, as basically anything too large for a helicopter has to be broken down.

The airport has two refueling trucks and two aircraft tractors, that’s about a quarter of what we have at our dinky little one gate airport.

There is no overall command to prioritize the cargoes, because what they need is heavy equipment to open up the roads to the city and the people. We have the airport and nothing else. You don’t let them land if you have no place to put them.

If they had a SeeBee or REDHORSE group they could open things up, if they got permission from Haiti.

The logistics really suck. The amphibious group can set up a dock system to shore to replace the destroyed port facilities, but someone has to haul the material to where it’s needed. The carrier unloaded all of its supplies by helicopter, because they were loaded to do that, and are waiting for resupply from Gitmo stocks. Their helicopters are available for transport if the cargo allows.

Roads have to be cleared so the aid can get to people.

3 Kryten42 { 01.18.10 at 1:47 am }

I would have thought the US wingnut morons would welcome this opportunity for *live* exercises in logistics for the US Military. After all, it has been primarily failures in logistics that have caused the use military to fail so often this past century. 😛 😉

(Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s not exactly the same thing! But then again… it never is, is it?)

4 Kryten42 { 01.18.10 at 1:49 am }

Oh… And yes, I do know that many of the *logistical FUBAR’s* can be traced back to moronic Politicians and political appointees with no clue what they were doing. But other Military’s have that problem, and they seem to cope OK. 🙂

5 Bryan { 01.18.10 at 9:19 pm }

With the Not-In-My-Backyard, the US military plays hell finding someplace to train that will actually cause damage to the landscape. As big as the country is, the Republicans have shutdown so many bases [mainly to make the land available to developers] that there aren’t many places left to conduct joint service exercises.

The Marines are really hard hit because of the lack of coastal bases, since they sit on some of the few remaining miles of US coastline not littered with hotels and condos.