Monday, January 18, 2010

193rd Special Operations Wing to provide disaster relief in Haiti

Editors Note: Based on the press release below, we expect to have some DoD broadcast into Haiti on AM, FM, TV or shortwave to the Haitian people from the EC-130J Commando Solo aircraft in the area. Any reports of Commando Solo transmissions would certainly be appreciated here or to our sister blog - the Shortwave Central at

by Airman 1st Class Claire Behney, 193rd Special Operations Wing

HARRISBURG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Pa. - In an unprecedented humanitarian mission, some 50 Airmen and three C-130 aircraft from the 193rd Special Operations Wing have departed in support of relief efforts in Haiti. The aircraft will be staged at locations outside the devastated area.

Two of the aircraft are cargo aircraft. The third, named Commando Solo, is an airborne radio and television station that will provide important information to the Haitian people.

"Our National Guard is honored to extend a helping hand to the people of Haiti. I am proud of these dedicated Airmen who are always ready to answer the call of duty, whether it is for combat missions or to aid those in need," said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, commander, Pennsylvania National Guard.

One of the aircraft departed late Thursday evening, the other two aircraft left Middletown, Pa., today.

The 193rd was called to serve in Haiti more than a decade ago. In 1994, Commando Solo was used to broadcast radio and television messages to the citizens and leaders of Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy. This is, however, the first humanitarian mission of its type for the wing.

The duration of the mission is undetermined at this time.

Members of the 193rd recently returned home from a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.