More Marines headed to Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14 that destroyed thousands of homes and affected millions of people.
The Corps has sent in 150 Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266, based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.
The two units will join Joint-Task Force-Haiti, established by U.S. Southern Command, which consists of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard medical teams, ships and aircraft already providing support to the Haitian people.
The Corps previously sent roughly 200 Marines from 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to Haiti to provide security and other ground resources to the task force.
Along with its MV-22 Ospreys, VMM-266 is staging at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “in anticipation of support to humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief operations on behalf of USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance,” a press release from the 2nd Marine Air Wing said.
The Ospreys, along with the KC-130Js from VMGR-252, will be used to bring in more assistance workers, along with emergency supplies and equipment, the press release said.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake was quickly followed by a tropical depression, which struck the nation on Aug. 15.
About 2,207 people died in the earthquake, Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said Sunday, with 344 people still missing, 12,268 people injured, 52,923 houses destroyed and another 77,006 houses damaged.