U-2S Helps “Operation Unified Response”

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U-2S arrives at Robins AFB in support of "Operation Unified Response". Photo Courtesy RAFB

WARBIRD RADIO – A U-2S surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft will be flying missions from Robins Air Force Base, GA in support of Operation Unified Response, the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.

INFORMATION COURTESY – MR. JOHN BIRDSONG – ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GA

Advance teams and equipment arrived Monday from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and are preparing for the aircraft’s arrival Wednesday.  Officials expect the U-2 to begin flying reconnaissance missions over Haiti as early as Saturday. The U-2 will be gathering high-quality imagery, broad area shots, that will eliminate the need to ‘patch together’ smaller images gathered by other Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets. It will give the decision makers on the ground a broader picture to use when making decisions on how to get help to those most in need.

Robins’ 330th Aircraft Sustainment Squadron has been supporting the Haiti mission through its management of the U-2 and other Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance assets.  Wing members are working on engineering solutions and architectural drawings to be used by the Air Staff in determining how to use the new MC-12 reconnaissance aircraft in Haiti.  An RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial system is flying missions over Haiti, as are 10 MQ-1 Predator UASs,  which provide 24/7 full motion video support.

The Air Force is orchestrating military and commercial efforts to update maps and locate areas of greatest distress. The focus of ISR assets is on support to security of relief operations, force protection, and monitoring migrations of displaced persons.

Air Force Reserve Command headquarters staff members here have also been integral in planning and supporting Haiti relief efforts from Reserve installations across the country.  Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., is one of two ports of entry for Operation Unified Response, and Reserve Airmen at Homestead have processed more than 1 million pounds of cargo bound for Haiti.  Reserve aircrews have flown more than 70 missions from around the country, transporting more than 2 million pounds of cargo and 500 people into the beleaguered country since Jan. 13.  The command’s Crisis Action Team has been operating around the clock since Jan. 14.

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