Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE
January 13, 2010
On January 13 2010, 17 Air Force Special Tactics airmen from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL, were FIRST THERE on the first military aircraft into Port au Prince, Haiti, eighteen hours after the earthquake. The airfield team ran the international airport in Port au Prince for twelve days, 24 hours a day. Ensuring safe and effective control in excess of 4,000 takeoffs and landings (up to 165 aircraft per day), an average of one aircraft sortie generation every five minutes, enabling the delivery of four-million pounds of humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti.
The Special Tactics Combat Controllers leveraged rotary-wing lift assets to send survey teams out to over 50 potential sites all across Haiti, resulting in 30 formal DZ and LZ surveys. The teams then planned and controlled four humanitarian aid drops, resulting in the successful delivery of 150,000 bottles of water and 75,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MRE).
The 23rd Special Tactics Squadron in Haiti concluded rescue operations after eight days and survey/airfield operations after 12 days.
In addition to this, Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Antonio D. Travis, a Combat Controller, was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2010 for his role in Operation Unified Response.