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Haiti: the Logistics

As the logistics team, our challenge was to receive medical supplies from ships and planes and distribute them to health clinics around Port au Prince.  This seemingly straightforward task was complicated by the extensive damage to the seaport of the Baie de Port-au-Prince and warehouse facilities. The US Coast Guard and Department of Defense components successfully restored a level of functionality to the maritime facilities by repairing docks and implementing the use of amphibious landing craft to shuttle supplies inland from cargo ships. 

After receiving items at the port, we transported them to a site known as “The Warefiled”. This material mobilization center functioned as an outdoor warehouse, located adjacent to the flightline at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince. This facility was operated by the US Air Force and the US Army, and provided a space for international governments and non government organizations to organize newly delivered equipment. We hired a crew of Haitians to assist in our constant need to organize, inventory, and deploy medical supplies, and many of these became friends by the deployment’s end. We were moved by the stories of personal devastation that each person offered, and the compensation and food they earned supported not only themselves, but an entire family of dependents. We were determined to thank these Haitians who helped us even while they themselves struggled with their own losses. So, after returning to the US, the logistics team purchased a collection of tents that was taken to Haiti by a photo journalist, Allison Shelley.  Allison delivered tents just as the rainy season commenced.

LCDR Anna Park shorts a circuit to operate a truck lift gate.

 

A salvage team surveys damages at the sea port.

 

Logistics personnel cut the lock on a cargo container.

 

Ground fissures made driving difficult in some parts of the sea port.

Haitians were recruited to help organize supplies at the warefield.

 

Members if the US Army 82nd Airborne Division provided security.

 

Alexander spoke excellent english and naturally rose to a leadership role among the warefield team.

 

Haitian logistician load a truck at the warefield.

 

Our security team waits on board a supply truck.

Logistics leaders survey damages o a supply truck.

 

The Haitian warefield team relaxes after a hard day.