At San Isidro Air Base, a Missed Opportunity to Help Haiti
EXCERPT: "The entire creation of the evacuation center happened in one day. Air Force personnel say that the US Embassy was able to set up this operation quickly, in part, because it's something they do all the time....Much of the preparation for this project was done by the spouses of US Embassy employees, who volunteer their time."
The facility is fully outfitted with the technology, space and equipment to support a complex, fast-moving aid operation to Haiti. But, it sits empty - waiting for "someone" to realize it is there.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Last Wednesday, a team lead by the US State Department and the US Armed Forces, along with help from Dominican forces and the US Department of Homeland Security, quickly set up a receiving station for US citizen evacuees at San Isidro, a Dominican air base just outside of Santo Domingo. The facility is fully outfitted with the technology, space and equipment to support a complex, fast-moving aid operation to Haiti, but now sits empty, often fully staffed, nearly all of the time.
"In the beginning," a US Embassy employee in Santo Domingo said, "it was really gratifying, to see the children coming off the planes." Now, employees desperately wish the base was being better utilized, and their mission could adapt to support aid to Haiti.