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Hurlburt Field Airmen prepare to assist in Haiti
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Skipalis, 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron Hurlburt Field, Fla., processes through a mobility line before departing for Haiti, Jan. 13, 2010. Airmen assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing will be part of a U.S. humanitarian relief mission to the earthquake stricken country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Loken/Released)
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Special Tactics Airmen provide humanitarian relief to Haiti

Posted 1/13/2010   Updated 1/14/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman David Salanitri
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

1/13/2010 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Two MC-130Hs from the 15th Special Operations Squadron and multiple teams from the 720th Special Tactics Group deployed to Haiti Wednesday in support of humanitarian operations in Haiti.

These teams bring an array of capabilities with them to the devastated country.

"Our special tactics teams have three specific capabilities that will allow for them to provide the best possible combination of support to Haiti," said Maj. Jason Daniels, 720th Operations Support Squadron director of operations.

Capability One, Airfield

"We are scheduled to be among the first people on the ground over there and we don't know the extent of damage done to the airfield," said Major Daniels. "Our goal is to have the airfield ready to take on full traffic by tonight. We bring our own lights and communication equipment so we are prepared."

In addition to opening up the International Airport at Port-au-Prince, combat controllers are trained to survey other areas to look for potential airdrop and landing zones so other cargo and personnel can be accepted into the country if required.

Capability Two, Medical

"Our members are trained paramedics and trained in trauma related to disasters like this," said Major Daniels. "Since our airfield will be open, we will be able to treat and medevac victims if needed.

"Just like if we were deployed in combat, we are ready to conduct search and rescue missions to include rescuing members in everything from a collapsed building to an elevator shaft."

Capability Three, Weather

"Weather will play a huge role in air operations. Our Airmen will take on-scene observations so incoming aircraft will know what to expect and can plan accordingly," said Major Daniels.

The major reinforced that all of the team members who are deploying are dedicated and ready to carry out the mission.

"Every Airman we sent has either recently returned from a deployment, is getting ready for a deployment or both," said Major Daniels. "Our Airmen are motivated to help the people of Haiti."

1/15/2010 12:12:28 PM ET
Glad to see the ST community is still leading the way. Wish the photo's had been of 720th personnel going out.
Mark Harv, Texas
1/14/2010 4:01:16 PM ET
I just got reassigned to HQ AFSOC and am proud to be a part of this organization. Its moments like this that we are proud to be Americans and our troops are proud to show off their abilities by putting all their training to good use.
Joshua Tannehill, Hurlburt Field FL
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