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Touching Bases: Meet the HAART team

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They are the first responders on the scene. "And once we hit the ground, we should be up operating fully within 6 or 7 hours," said Colonel Daniel Settergren, 36th Contingency Response Group Commander. HARRT has a brand new mission in the Pacific, with Settergren saying, "With this capability, the Humanitarian Assistance Rapid Response Team will be able to get anywhere in the theater very quickly and set up operations departing here within 24 hours of mission notification."

He's testing out the operation by leading a 54-person team of military personnel from Andersen Air Force Base, the Naval Hospital, and Yokota Air Base in Japan on its very first mission to the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. "The Pacific Command has determined that they need to have the capability to deploy an emergency response medical capability anywhere in the theater very quickly," he said.

With Guam assuming increasing geostrategic significance, the team departing from AAFB just this morning represents a larger strategy by the U.S. Air Force to beef up its emergency response apparatus. "Unfortunately, in this theater there are a whole lot of natural disasters between the volcanoes and the mudslides, and the tsunamis and typhoons," he said.

As first responders on scene to any mission HARRT is deployed to in the Pacific theater, this 10kat fork lift can actually up to 10k of critical cargo. Included in this cargo are tents to make the hospital out of, fuel for their vehicles, sleeping bags, medical supplies, food and water.

"We are augmenting the capabilities that that country already has and not necessarily taking over for them," he said.

Trying to bridge the gap between when the incident first occurs and most of the major follow on relief supplies arrives, the first mission to Chuuk is an opportunity to test the waters while they are still calm.
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