Saturday, January 30, 2010

Haiti Humanitarian Relief - Covenant Special Projects SITREP 30 JAN 2010

SF Brothers:
Haiti SITREP: I thought I’d drop a few lines reference our recent trip to Haiti. As the owner of a private security & tactical training company, Covenant Special Projects, LLC, I had the opportunity to join forces with Kingdom Special Operations (Nevada) and travel to Haiti to assist in the humanitarian relief operations in the outskirts of Port of Prince (PAP)Haiti. Traveling with a ten (10) man team, mostly former Special Forces, Seals , US Marshals and intelligence agency persons, we entered PAP airport (kit and tools of our trade in hand) only to find complete chaos as one may imagine.

Our mission was to provide logistic support and security for an Non Governmental Organization (NGO) rescue team as well as to provide security for the University of Miami hospital. I could write for days concerning the complete acts of kindness, professionalism and all heroes we met along the way. They are everywhere. From the nurses and doctors working 18 hour shifts to render aid to the injured to the soldiers and airmen showing why we have the greatest military in the world. But instead, I would like to inform other SF bothers and readers of this blog of the crap behind the cameras and the travesty that is taking place on behalf of people of Haiti. I am sure there are many scams taking place; but this is one that we all fund with our tax dollars.

The United Nations. The Haitians are rapidly growing more and more angry with this band of merry men, and rightly so. Seems the Haitian people, just like the rest of us, thought the U.N was there to assist and secure. In my view, this is not happening. The U.N. turns the Haitian streets into parking lots with their huge trucks (few of which possess any relief cargo) and constant roadblocks. While the other 400-500 trucks sit in a U.N. staging area adjacent to the airport in PAP. All day long the trucks sit. U.N. officials look busy with their blue caps and pressed uniforms and half rusted sidearm’s; attending meeting after meeting yet seldom rolling out of the gate to deliver goods or escort those who are really there to assist.

It seems almost impossible to make the simplest thing happen. Well, let me take that back… There is one thing the U. N. units are extremely proficient in and dedicated to; and it all takes place in hours of darkness. NO, not relief convoys. NO, not security presence patrols. PARTIES. Parties seem to be the priority as evening falls in Haiti, at least for the U. N. As the people of Haiti sift through debris to locate the remains of a family member or scrounge for the smallest morsel of food, the U.N. is cutting loose in their secure compound. A few drinks, a bit of music, and tales of they have served the Haitian people (mostly BS) occur nightly. Look, SF teams live by the motto “Work Hard – Party Hard” but never when there are so many suffering so close. My team and I were disgusted by the arrogance many of these U.N. workers from all nations displayed. As they enjoyed their cool drinks, burgers and hot rice, the Haitian’s (less than 300 meters away) suffer from wounds, lack of food and water and no place to live.

Over eight days and nights, I personally witnessed zero U.N. relief. I would like to think my tax dollars (at least the part that goes to the United Nations) is working but I am afraid that investment has little return. Prior to departing I spoke with a U. N. representative; I learned the U.N. was placing a 93 foot vessel off the coast to act not as a hospital ward but instead to serve as a Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) outlet for the over-stressed and over tasked U. N personnel. A floating party barge… Well, I guess there is some return on our investment.

I could continue with all I witnessed, good and bad. But I think you get my point.
Should the Haitian people riot, it is only because they are hungry and fed up waiting for assistance. They are good people and have a faith in God that is stronger than most nations with wealth. Know that our (United States) Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are making things happen; sometimes in the absence of formal orders but with the intuitive nature of the American service member. From combat to humanitarian assistance operations our troops adapt and attack the mission with the same vigor and professionalism. It is truly amazing to watch. Know there are hundreds if not thousands of volunteers that serve in various capacities in some of the harshest conditions; with a smile and a dedication to make a difference. And know that what is depicted on the evening news is only a footnote of the true story.

I hope to drop a few more lines concerning other aspects of our trip. My team and I may be heading back in a few days. If so, I will provide a ground-truth SITREPS nightly from the AOR.

Stay Safe / Stay Hungry
Tommy Buchino
Covenant Special Projects
“De Oppresso Liber”