The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is preparing for an upcoming deployment to Haiti to participate in relief efforts.
“The morale is off the charts and we are absolutely ready to go down there. Marines are definitely warriors first but we are equally compassionate and want to reach out a helping hand to those that need it,” U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Clark Carpenter, public affairs officer, for the MEU told bloggers this morning during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable.
He told the bloggers that two days ago they got the call to begin prudent planning and immediately went in to action getting organized for this mission. The focus of will be providing relief to Haitian people and the team is preparing to bring helicopters, trucks, earth moving equipment, water purification systems and a contingent of marines.
Carpenter said they are prepared to do anything from humanitarian relief to combat operations. “We come as a multi-mission force; we are looking at more of a relief effort but are capable of providing more if neccesary.”
The unit recently returned from a seven-month deployment but Carpenter said the the unit is prepared to be down there as long as they are asked.
The MEU is also well equipped to provide additional landing ports to provide relief from the airport in Haiti and have a robust capability so they can move supplies by sea or helicopter.
They unit also put out a call for Marines to serve as interpreters so that they can effectively help as many people as possible. “We will be able to bridge the language gap,” he said. “Providing aid and relief is an international language, we will be able to provide for them.”
The unit is prepared for this mission having rehearsed mass casualties and disaster training and are well trained and well equipped for the mission ahead.
“We have to get down there to ease the human suffering,” Carpenter said. “We are going to show the face of compassion not only for Marines and Sailors but for the United States.”
Joining us on the call were Andrew Lubin, http://themilitaryobserver.com; Richard Lowry, www.themarinesinthegardenofeden.com; Jim Lubin, www.blog.usni.org; Bruce Henderson, Leo Shane III, http://blogs.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central; Chuck Simmins, www.northshorejournal.org; Dale Kissinger, www.militaryavenue.com; Chris Albon, http://warandhealth.com; Taylor Kiland, www.examiner.com; David Axe, www.warisboring.com; Paul McLeary, www.aviationweek.com; and Beth Wilson, www.homefrontinfocus.com.
To view a transcript from this roundtable, click here.
To listen to the roundtable, click here.
To view an article from this interview, click here.