Guantanamo Bay, Cuba –
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – Joint Task Force-Bravo Forward utilized all eight helicopter assets and conducted humanitarian aid missions in Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, and Annete, Haiti, Aug. 19, in support of disaster relief operations for the people affected by the recent earthquake.
“The U.S. military has a history of supporting USAID-led relief missions and working with international relief organizations to aid those afflicted by disasters,” said U.S. Army Col. Steven Gventer, Joint Task Force - Bravo commander. “We are proud to be a part of this mission and help wherever needed with relief efforts.”
Three U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters, three UH-60 and two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, transported a total of 43,500 lbs of humanitarian aid items to Les Cayes, and moved 21 personnel to assist U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance operations, to alleviate human suffering and bolster Haitian disaster response capabilities.
“JTF-B moved forward to Guantanamo immediately because we are an expeditionary unit,” said Gventer. “We are here to support our Haitian neighbors, to save lives, ease suffering and provide aid.”
At the request of U.S. Southern Command, service members assigned to the Task Force deployed to support relief efforts for the people of Haiti after the nation was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake August 14.
JTF-Bravo is one of three task forces under U.S. Southern Command that operates a forward, all-weather day/night C-5-capable air base, organizes multilateral exercises and supports, in cooperation with our partner nations, counters transnational organized crime, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts and the development of partner capacities, to promote regional cooperation and security in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
USSOUTHCOM has previously supported USAID/BHA-led disaster relief missions in Haiti, most recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, with JTF-Bravo supporting aviation operations. SOUTHCOM has also assisted Haiti in preparing for natural disasters with the construction of emergency operations centers, disaster relief warehouses, fire stations and community centers that double as shelters.
“This is the essence of who we are as Americans and as service members,” said Gventer. “We have a culture and a nature to serve our neighbors, save lives, ease suffering whenever and wherever we can. JTF-Bravo is purposely designed and trained to do that.”