Big Red One Soldiers Heading for Haiti
Soldiers of the 15th Finance Detachment guide a trailer into place as they load the C-17 aircraft that will be taking the unit to Haiti to provide support after the earthquake Jan. 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Chapman, 75th Fires Bde Public Affairs Office)
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Story by: CPT Brigham Udall
3rd Bn., 13th Field Artillery Regt.
After 10 days of focused training and deployment preparation, 26 Soldiers of Detachment D, 15th Finance Management Company, are deploying this week to Haiti to serve for the next six months in support of Operation Unified Response.
The "Delta Dragons" will be part of the 20,000 service members currently providing disaster relief and assisting with the recovery of Haiti, which was devastated January 12 by an earthquake.
Along with assisting in humanitarian efforts, the detachment will provide a critical capability to the nation. Lt. Col. Andrew Weatherstone, commander, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Regiment, said the unit "is going to bring the ability to disburse cash, pay contracts, and get that country back on its feet."
Sgt. 1st Class Angel Gaillard, detachment sergeant, said that in addition to assisting the restructuring of Haiti through paying contracts and disbursing cash, the detachment's Soldiers would provide services such as casual pay and check cashing to other service members who are helping the Haitians.
"Our Soldiers are ready and eager to help the Haitians and other service members," Gaillard said.
With such short notice to prepare, the unit had to work almost around the clock to get ready.
"We're ready, despite the short notice," said 2nd Lt. Robert Mullen, the detachment's operations officer. "The preparation was difficult, but we worked hard to be ready to go help the Haitians. Deployment is nothing new to most of the group, and we've had great support from everybody on Fort Sill, so we're ready to go accomplish the mission."