Fort Liberté, Haiti – A celebration was held June 5 for the newly-constructed emergency operations center (EOC) and disaster relief warehouse (DRW) in Forte Liberte’, Haiti. The new facilities, located within the Nord-Est Department of Haiti, were built as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) in Haiti.
“The 4,000 square-foot EOC will provide a central hub for the local government to coordinate response following catastrophic events and report vital information to the Haitian government for rapid decision making,” said Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NAVFAC Southeast) Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC), Haiti.
“The 4,800 square-foot DRW should provide ample storage for items needed to respond immediately following a major disaster. The warehouse also creates a place for supplies to be redistributed from a central area outside of the Haitian capital to help alleviate major supply chain issues discovered following the 2010 earthquake,” said Henning.
In his comments during the ceremony the Haitian President, His Excellenacy Michel Martelly, thanked the U.S. government for the opportunities the newly-constructed emergency operations center (EOC) and disaster relief warehouse (DRW) will provide to the Haitan government and its people.
During the ceremony, the Haitian Minister of the Interior, Daniel Basile, signed the documents officially transferring the EOC and DRW from U.S. Southern Command to the Government of Haiti. The two buildings will be managed and staffed by members of the local Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC), the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Participants in the inauguration ceremony were His Excellency, Michel Martelly, the President of Haiti; U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Richter Tipton, Senior Defense Official, U.S. Embassy; Daniel Basile, the Minister of the Interior; Hugo Charles, Delegue to the region; Guiteau Pierre, Fort Liberte Mayor; and Madame Jean Baptiste, Director of DPC.
Also in attendance were Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, NAVFAC Southeast ROICC Haiti; Mr. Greg Marcellous, NAVFAC Southeast construction manager for the project, Sgt. 1st Class Roland Laforest, the U.S. Southern Command HAP Manager and volunteers of the local DPC.
The $1.4 Million EOC and DRW are part of 62 Humanitaran Assistance projects NAVFAC Southeast is administering the design and construction of for U.S. Southern Command on behalf of the Government of Haiti and the Haitian people. The $33M program is being executed, with ROICC Haiti oversight, through 20 contracts at 22 sites and will provide EOCs, DRWs, fire stations, medical clinics, community centers, and schools for the Haitian people.