News: Additional Sustainers deploy to Haiti in support of relief operations
Story by Spc. Michael Behlin
FORT KNOX, Ky. — An additional 40 Soldiers from Fort Knox's 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) deployed to Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 27, in support of relief operations in Haiti.
The Soldiers will join 3rd ESC members already on ground to form the Joint Logistics Task Force — Haiti, led by 3rd ESC commander, Col. (P) Robin Akin, and to provide logistical expertise to the relief effort. This group of Soldiers will bring the total number of 3rd ESC Soldiers on ground to approximately 60.
The deployment is the first for the 3rd ESC to the island country, much of which was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12. Because of the austere conditions, the unit deployed with all equipment and life support needed to establish a headquarters from the ground-up.
After a rigorous pre-deployment process, the 3rd ESC Soldiers departed from Louisville International Airport via Air Force C-17 aircraft. Col. Marvin Whitaker, the 3rd ESC chief of staff, and Command Sgt. Maj. Willie Tennant, the command's senior enlisted leader, visited the Soldiers before they boarded the aircraft.
"This deployment really proves that American Soldiers are truly amazing," said Whitaker. "These Soldiers genuinely want to aid in the relief effort to help those in need."
Departing from the Kentucky Air National Guard Base which is manned by the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, the mission marked the first in which the 3rd ESC deployed by military aircraft carrying military equipment.
The command noted the Kentucky Air National Guard's willingness to assist in relief efforts as the 123rd LRG processed more than 90 tons of cargo for the night.
"This deployment is not like a regular deployment to where you have time to prepare and get everything ready," said Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Havice, an Oakridge, Ore., native and 3rd ESC transportation management non-commissioned officer. "The Air Guard has been extremely helpful throughout this process while on short notice, and short staffed."
"But it's amazing how everything gets done when you have Soldiers and Airmen working together, and taking initiative."
Within the next week, the command will send an additional group of Soldiers to Haiti. They too will deploy with all necessary life support to include vehicles, tents, food and water.