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Things Are Not What They Seem

Port au Prince Airport
(Picture from Google Map satellite view)

That is the Port au Prince airport, and the situation there is a US problem because the US built it with this crappy design. As is obvious, anything larger than a Cessna has to do a 180° turn after roll out on landing and exit via that central taxiway to the terminal area. That ties up the runway. The aircraft taking off have to enter the runway, taxi to the end and then execute a 180° turn to start their take off roll, again, tying up the runway. This was not designed for efficiency.

The problems have led some to claim the US is hogging the airport. Hey, if someone else wanted to control the airport, all they had to do was send in a team to get it up and running.

The Brazilians are thumping their chests about leading the UN Security mission, to which I say, wonderful, so lead already.

People are claiming that the US is fixated on security, pointing to the special arrangements to get the troops from the 82nd Airborne Division into Haiti on a priority basis. The problem is that the 82nd isn’t in the country for security: they set up a landing zone at country club near the US embassy that enabled supplies to be air-dropped by C-17 transports, and then transferred to helicopters for distribution, increasing the amount of supplies in the country and relieving some of the pressure on the airport.

There are about 2,000 Marines arriving by sea shortly, but I hope no one is counting on them for security, because they are bringing heavy equipment with them to start cleaning up so the rebuilding can take place.

The Coast Guard has already started working on clearing up the port facilities so they can be used.

Unless someone specifically asks for US security assistance, it doesn’t look like Southern Command is going to provide any, other than for their sites. I’m sure some people are going to have a fit over that.

January 18, 2010   11 Comments