GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- The air terminal at Naval Station Guantanamo (GTMO) Bay, Cuba, remained active Jan. 23-24 as flights filled with a variety of humanitarian assistance support continued to arrive and depart in support of Operation Unified Response.
Task Force 48, coordinating the logistical flow of relief supplies into Haiti and to the joint sea base operating off the coast, lifted a U.S. Navy Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit (MDSU) on board Dutch Navy Logistics ship HNLMS Pelikaan (A 805) Jan. 22. On Jan. 23, MV-22 Ospreys, U.S. Air Force C-5s and C-17s, U.S. Navy C-2s and Navy and Coast Guard rotary wing assets continued the massive lift operation.
Over 100 pallets of food water and medical supplies were flown out of GTMO Jan. 23. In particular, several shipments of donated whole blood and platelets, as well as other critical medicines, were put on military aircraft and expedited to those in Haiti who need it most.
"I ran out on the runway to deliver a box of Insulin to a C-2 aircraft before it left for Haiti," said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class (SW/AW) Nicholas Nowlin, a member of the staff of Carrier Strike Group 2. "That is not something I do in my every day job. I love that I can do these things – whatever it takes – to help save lives."
Over 100 personnel surged from Carrier Strike Group 2 in Norfolk, Va., and Navy Expeditionary Logistics Supply Group (NAVELSG) in Williamsburg, Va., to staff the logistics hub within days of the earthquake. They are providing the expertise and liaison with other units in the joint sea base and in Haiti to ensure the lift of thousands of pallets of medical supplies, water, food, personnel and other relief items.
The massive air and sea lift humanitarian operation will continue for the foreseeable future, and the efforts of Task Force 48 will be aided significantly by surface ships. USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), a Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship arrived Jan. 24, and multinational surface assets from France are scheduled to arrive at GTMO in the near future to on load relief supplies and deliver them to Haiti.
To date, Task Force 48 has coordinated the transfer of more than 200 pallets containing nearly 100,000 rations of food and more than 313,000 bottles of water to Haiti and supporting surface units in the joint operating area and sea base.
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