U.S. FORCES IN HAITI RETURN TOMORROW; FAIRWINDS CONTINUES
The final elements of the U.S. contingent of the United Nations Mission inHaiti (UNMIH) will return to their home stations when eighty-four personneldepart Port-au-Prince Wednesday, April 17.
More than 250 U.S. personnel willremain in country as part of an ongoing bilateral humanitarian and civicassistance training mission under the command of the United States SupportGroup Haiti.
The returning personnel are members of Task Force 7, transportation personnelfrom Fort Eustis, Virginia and the 204th Military Police Company from FortPolk, Louisiana.
They have remained in country to process transportation andcustoms requirements for vehicles and equipment being shipped back to the U.S.from the UNMIH operation.
The United States Support Group and deployed-for-training units under itscommand will remain in Haiti as part of Exercise FAIRWINDS, a Joint Chiefs ofStaff-directed humanitarian and civic assistance training mission,headquartered in Port-au-Prince.
The support group was stood up April 30, 1995to provide command and control for troops executing the bilateral-lateraltraining mission.
The organization is authorized strength levels between 250and 500 personnel, with current strength slightly over 250 people.
Theoperation is scheduled to operate through June, 1997.
The deployed-for-training units conduct mission essential task list-orientedtraining to maintain unit readiness.
The work takes the form of basecampconstruction and Government of Haiti-requested humanitarian and civicassistance (HCA) projects that will also improve conditions for the Haitianpopulace.
One of the units currently supporting Exercise FAIRWINDS is the 1st Platoon,Delta Company of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 out of Roosevelt Roads,Puerto Rico.
Their home station is Navy Construction Battalion Center,Gulfport, Mississippi.
They execute basecamp construction and the Governmentof Haiti-requested HCA projects.
Their projects include school and hospital repairs and construction efforts,road repair and construction and digging wells.
The unit is currently workingon repair and construction work at two of Haiti's public elementary schools, aswell as continuing basecamp construction and maintenance.
The smaller projectsas the schools are funded with Department of Defense HCA funds.
However, thesupport group has also completed larger projects funded by the Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank, including a $1.1 million road renovation project near theport and major renovations at the University Hospital.
The support group iscurrently holding discussions with the World Bank for possible financing offuture large projects.
The 3rd Platoon of the Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST)Company of the Marine Security Force Battalion, based at Camp Allen at Norfolk,Naval Base, Va., provides compound security and convoy security for engineeringpersonnel, equipment and materials while enroute to construction sites.
Theyalso provide construction site security.
The 274th Forward Surgical Team and C Company, both from the 261st MedicalBattalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., are providing medical support for theoperation.
Colonel David Patton, U.S. Army, is Commander of the United States SupportGroup Haiti, reporting to the United States Atlantic Command, headquartered atNorfolk Naval Base, Virginia.