News: 22nd MEU moves into Carrefour
ABOARD USS BATAAN - After receiving the order to support earthquake relief operations more than three weeks ago and immediately focusing on providing medical support and supplies, food and water ashore to those in need, the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit prepares to focus relief efforts in Carrefour to relieve the 24th MEU as they fulfill their commitment to deploy in support of U.S. European and Central commands.
Marines and sailors with the 22nd MEU combined a network of sea-based logistics and land-based support with approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors ashore to conduct immediate relief efforts, then sustainment operations and will now shift main efforts into Carrefour. The MEU conducted a relief in place with the 24th MEU in order to continue to support relief efforts in the area.
The Marines initially focused on a 60-kilometer area west of Port Au Prince, near Carrefour, Leogane, Grand Goave and Petit Goave. In order to move and distribute supplies in these areas, Marines and sailors partnered with the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, Canadian and Spanish forces.
In order to facilitate continuity of operations throughout the area west of Port Au Prince and take on 24th MEU operations, 22nd MEU Marines and sailors will transition relief sequentially in Leogane, Grand Goave, and Petit Goave - with a goal of completing the Petit Goave transition by the end of the World Food Program push in one week.
"Our Marines are prepared to move in to assist the people of Carrefour and continue our transition of support in Leogane and Petit Goave to the Government of Haiti, NGOs and the U.N.," said Lt. Col. Dan Verda, 22nd MEU Executive Officer. "Canadian forces are operating in Leogane and Spanish forces have established a presence in Petit Goave."
The RIP was conducted in a deliberate manner over the past few days.
This afforded key leaders the opportunity to walk the ground, introduce themselves to the people and local government, to create critical links between the U.N., United States Agency for International Development, WFP and NGOs, a job previously assigned to the 24th MEU. After completion of the RIP, 22d MEU forces will assume tasks of 24th MEU while maintaining both a physical presence in Petit Goave and linkage to Leogane and Grand Goave through established relationships and support operations conducted through the New Mission Beach area.
Ashore, MEU medical teams have facilitated medical evacuations to USS Bataan, and corpsmen and doctors have provided treatment for hundreds of Haitians.
Since the MEU's arrival, it has produced almost 79,000 gallons of water, helped distribute more than one million pounds of rations, nearly 390,000 bottles of water, approximately 15,000 pounds of medical supplies and roughly 8,000 pounds of other supplies and administered more than 2,800 immunizations.
The ships of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission and embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived off the coast of Haiti Jan. 18 to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for earthquake survivors and bolster relief operations already underway in support of Operation Unified Response.
The MEU received the order to deploy, Jan. 13. Comprised of heavy-lift and utility helicopters, trucks and humvees, assault amphibian vehicles and logistics capabilities to include water purification and limited medical support, the 22nd MEU will further enhance humanitarian relief efforts ashore.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission-capable force comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its command element.
In addition to Bataan, the Amphibious Relief Mission also includes USS Carter Hall, USS Fort McHenry, USS Gunston Hall and detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron 14, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Assault Craft Unit 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2.