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Special tactics Airmen augment Haiti earthquake humanitarian relief efforts

U.S. Air Force Special Tactics operators load tactical vehicles onto a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Nov. 23, 2020, while prepping for a landing zone assessment and survey mission.

Special tactics operators load tactical vehicles onto a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Nov. 23, 2020, while prepping for a landing zone assessment and survey mission. The operators were part of Joint Task Force-Bravo, which supported the U.S. government relief efforts in Honduras following the devastation of Hurricane Iota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rose Gudex)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) --

Special tactics Airmen assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing are responding to a request to augment humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14.

The ST Airmen, working with Joint Task Force-Haiti, will be responsible for conducting airfield surveys to determine suitability for bringing in humanitarian aid via airlift. Special tactics teams are also postured and ready to establish airfield operations and conduct air traffic control if necessary.

“Our special tactics Airmen are trained and ready for a number of humanitarian missions that we may be called upon to accomplish,” said Col. Jason Daniels, 24th Special Operations Wing commander. “Our teams are looking forward to providing assistance to the people of Haiti while working alongside our joint teammates in U.S. Southern Command in support of (U.S. Agency for International Development’s) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.”

In recent years, special tactics Airmen have responded to several natural disasters, including Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras, Hurricane Michael in Florida and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

Special tactics Airmen fall under Air Force Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, and are trained to execute global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations across the spectrum of conflict. Special tactics operators are experts in air-ground integration and have the ability to assess, open and control major airfields to clandestine dirt strips in any environment.