Haiti Earthquake Analysis

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The Haiti earthquake on 12 January 2010 was the most significant natural disaster to strike the Western hemisphere in modern history (Figure 1). The world response was immediate, but marred with various complications stemming from a logistical standpoint that, in retrospect were eventually overcome through the combined efforts of this international response. Notwithstanding the fact that early on, the immediate reaction can be considered ad hoc, it must be stated that any unplanned event of such magnitude is at risk to a precarious start, especially to civilian agencies. A military, however, is the ideal organization for quick response, proven by early successes of Haiti’s closest two G7 neighbours, the United States of America and Canada.…show more content…
For this paper, joint will be simplified to acknowledge one service supporting another. The U.S. and Canada both utilized JTFs that allowed flexibility and haste in responding to the disaster. For example, by day 2 SOUTHCOM had already deployed their Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ), shortly followed by elements of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC). This act eased the burden on XVII Corps, multiplying the immediate response capability of the JTF. The joint headquarters element allowed the Commander on the ground to more easily distribute orders to subordinates concurrent to analyzing reports and returns so that he could quickly respond to request for information from SOUTHCOM. In short, it diminished the ‘fog of war’ aspect in the early stages of the response. Canada also made use of a joint…show more content…
For DoD, Air Force Combat Control Teams and the Air Force Contingency Response Group (CRG) had an immediate impact on force and aid flow. These first responders quickly enhanced the Port Au Prince airfield capability from around 35 to over 200 flights per day. Taking advantage of learned practices, Canada deployed its Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), a joint, modularized military unit task suited for quick deployment to stricken areas. An immediate response unit, it deployed within 24 hours with engineers, logisticians, security and medical personnel, quickly assisting with the international relief efforts. The concepts of easily transportable and trained disaster relief teams were crucial to the joint responses by the U.S. DoD and Canadian Department of National Defence
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