Operation Unified Response
The Haiti earthquake gave the American base at Guantanamo Bay a new mission: supplying aid to the devastated island nation. Less than 200 miles from Haiti, Gtmo was designated as the hub of the aid operation. Dozens of helicopters and planes took off daily to ferry supplies and personnel to the stricken country or to American ships off the coast.
The Air Force personnel who landed in Haiti with the artists brought food, water, tents and medical supplies and set about reopening the damaged and chaotic airport at Port-au-Prince. The goal was to get the facility operational and to continue overseeing it so that more relief materials and aid workers could safely land in the coming weeks.
My mission as an artist for the USAF involved deployment to Port au Prince, photographing and sketching the U.S. planes, troops and medical personnel as well as the long lines of families seeking to escape their homeland, the groups of orphans awaiting help from abroad and the crowds of people standing outside the airport gates hoping for offers of work or needed supplies.