Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti Relief & the US Navy

Sunday, January 17, 2010
When I first saw the new US Navy commercial and the new slogan, "Global Force for Good," I wasn't sure what to make of it.  It's been out for at least a couple of months now.  After what's happened in Haiti with the massive earthquake and the ongoing relief effort, I think the slogan is spot on.  Some of the things I'm most proud of in my Navy career thus far are the things I've been able to do within the community and for those less fortunate (stateside and overseas).  That's a big part of the Navy's mission.

The tragedy in Haiti is heartbreaking.  We still have many friends in Miami, both at my old command, US Southern Command and our old church, Oasis Church of Pembroke Pines.  These friends have family and loved ones that have undoubtedly been affected by the earthquake.  It will be a long time before Haiti gets back on its feet.

I spent two years at the US Southern Command Headquarters in Miami, Florida.  I started out in J3 Operations, serving in the Maritime Branch.  I was also in J5 Policy and Strategy, serving as the Chief for Strategic Threats.  Most of my time at Southcom however, was spent as the Executive Officer for the Deputy Commander.  It was a busy and very rewarding two years.  Southcom has the lead for all of the military support for Haiti.
Here are some pics of Southcom's previous relief  and support efforts.

The aircraft carrier, USS CARL VINSON has arrived and will be supporting the relief effort.  The medical facilities onboard an aircraft carrier are pretty substantial.  My friend even had a vasectomy onboard an aircraft carrier.

This is the hospital ship, USNS COMFORT.  She will be going to Haiti as well with many military and civilian doctors and medical personnel, to include people from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Doctors Without Borders.  The COMFORT will most likely be the largest operable hospital facility near Haiti.  The COMFORT is one of the 180 ships operated by the Military Sealift Command.

Just two days ago, I had the opportunity to brief a group of Military Sealift Command sailors, military and civilian mariners.  It was inspiring to see them ready to volunteer for Haiti if needed.  The CARL VINSON, COMFORT and these MSC sailors and the entire relief effort - it makes me very proud to be in the US Navy.

I didn't ask those MSC sailors to volunteer and they probably couldn't go anyway because of their mission here in Korea, but it was very cool to see that spirit of helping alive and well in that room.  We will need that spirit for progress to be made in Haiti.  Let's all help out however we can.  Even though we're thousands of miles away from the situation, there are no distance limitations to our prayers.  Until next time -- C2


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