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AFSOUTH Air Component Coordination Element joins Joint Task Force-Haiti

Combat controllers guide a cargo aircraft from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., into Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 23, 2010. The Airmen are from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla. In the initial days of Operation Unified Response air operations were similar to the Berlin Airlift with aircraft landing every five minutes. Now, aircraft from all over the world are still flying in and out to drop off humanitarian aid and transport people out of the Haiti after the devasting earthquake that hit the nation Jan. 12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios)

Combat controllers guide a cargo aircraft from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., into Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 23, 2010. The Airmen are from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla. In the initial days of Operation Unified Response, air operations were similar to the Berlin Airlift with aircraft landing every five minutes. Now, aircraft from all over the world are still flying in and out to drop off humanitarian aid and transport people out of the Haiti after the devastating earthquake that hit the nation Jan. 12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios)

Senior Master Sgt. James Bennett takes time out from his job to hold a Haitian baby for a mother who was asleep from exhaustion Jan. 21, 2010, at the Toussaint L?Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Sergeant Bennett is a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster with the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson)

Senior Master Sgt. James Bennett takes time out from his job to hold a Haitian baby for a mother who was asleep from exhaustion Jan. 21, 2010, at the Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Sergeant Bennett is a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster with the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Alvin Johnson)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- Brig. Gen. Darryl Burke, the 12th Air Force (Air Forces) Southern Vice Commander, and Col. Dave Uselman, the 612th Air Operations Center Deputy Commander, have arrived in Haiti to act as lead members of the Air Component Coordination Element supporting Joint Task Force-Haiti. The team's primary function is to liaise between the JTF, Joint Forces Air Component Commander and related staffs coordinating the flow of air traffic during Operation Unified Response.

"The ACCE is a central component of the joint staff," explained General Burke. "Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen are all working together to find ways to support the government of Haiti, interagency and non-governmental organizations."

In addition to the two senior officers, the AFSOUTH commander added Air Mobility, Communications, Public Affairs and Intelligence support to the ACCE team. The team is working at the Joint Operations Center, outside the U.S. Embassy in Port Au Prince, along with hundreds of military members, government agencies and relief organizations.
"It's vital for the joint force, U.S. agencies, Haitian government and volunteer and charitable organizations to have robust air support, both in the air and on the ground, in order to accomplish the incredibly complex task of sustaining and rebuilding Haiti," said General Burke. "The ACCE provides the coordination between these groups and the Air Force to ensure our air assets are readily available and operating at maximum efficiency -- and effectiveness."

The ACCE is the Air Force liaison element to the Joint Task Force-Haiti Commander, Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, and reports to the Air Forces Southern Commander, Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears. Air Force assets working to rebuild Haiti include mobility Airmen from across the Air Force, as well as, members of the 621st Contingency Response Group, Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers, security forces, airfield managers and aerial porters, civil engineers, medical technicians, contracting and communications staff.

"The Air Force effort to assist the people of Haiti began within 24 hours of the earthquake -- and has increased every day...we'll continue to support Joint Task Force Haiti with excellence for as long as it takes," concluded General Burke.

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