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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:12 PM
Original message
The TRUTH About Doctors Without Borders
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 11:18 PM by sandnsea
Let's just put it together from two transcripts. The flights get backed up, I believe the word the media has used is "bottle-necked". Remember? When that happens, sometimes a plane has to be diverted, usually because it's running out of fuel. Is Doctors Without Borders frustrated? Sure. Is there a conspiracy against them? No.

Doctors Without Borders

On our side we have been trying through all our contacts, which is at the UN, or people in the United States, or here in Haiti--everywhere--we have tried all the possible channels for these planes to land. We have been given assurances that they could land, and they ended up (circling) over Port-au-Prince, and eventually diverted to Santo Domingo.

Avril: We have had 4 cargo flights that successfully have flown to Port-au-Prince, with a total tonnage of 135. We have 2 cargo flights that flew to Dominican Republic with their total tonnage being 65. At the moment we have 6 cargo flights planned for the rest of this week, with a total tonnage of 195.
14:50


http://doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/article.c...



JAN 17 PRESS BRIEFING BY DENIS McDONOUGH, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR; TIM CALLAGHAN, SENIOR REGIONAL ADVISOR FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN FOR USAID OFFICE OF FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE; COLONEL BUCK ELTON, COMMANDER SOCIETY SOUTH HAITI

The relief effort at the Haiti Airport is in full swing, with over 600 takeoffs and landings since Wednesday evening when US forces from Florida first landed. The loading equipment was damaged meaning cargo was mostly unloaded by hand in the beginning. There was no electricity and no communication when forces landed. Colonel Elton said that within 28 minutes, they had controlled the airspace and were "sequencing in the arriving aircraft that night". On Thursday, a response group from the Air Force brought in construction material and handling equipment.

"It gets better every day," said Colonel Elton, "Initially we went from an airfield that had no control or prioritization and it was everyone -- everyone was filing their flight plans and arriving unannounced, and we didnt know that they were there until they were approximately 20 miles from the field."

"The overwhelming international support to bring humanitarian assistance and disaster relief into this airfield exceeded the capacity of us to get them in and out... The first couple days it was all very important cargo and it was a challenge to turn away any aircraft for an open parking slot. But when we had all of the parking spots occupied, more important cargo would show up. And if they didnt have enough holding fuel to be able to orbit and wait to come in, they would have to fuel-divert."

One solution to avoid the fuel-diverts was to provide additional military aircraft with air refueling tanker support so that they could come and orbit over the field. When there was in available spot without an inbound civilian humanitarian relief flight on the way, they would bring them in and quickly offload and get them out.
According to Elton, though, the number of diverts have been minimal and are decreasing, there were on two diverts on Sunday. On Saturday, Elton said, "out of 67 civilian flights that we had to plan to come here, we had only had three diverts".

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/press-briefi...
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for this news from
Doctors Without Borders, sandnsea.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, look at it.
'Doctors Without Borders

On our side we have been trying through all our contacts, which is at the UN, or people in the United States, or here in Haiti--everywhere--we have tried all the possible channels for these planes to land. We have been given assurances that they could land, and they ended up (circling) over Port-au-Prince, and eventually diverted to Santo Domingo.'
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Why?
The answer is right there. They said they circled. The US military says circling is common, so common they have to bring in air refuelers.

So why did they have to go to Santo Domingo?

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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Because they can't stay up there forever?
And not every airplane has the capability to be refueled inflight.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. That was a rhetorical why n/t
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Only certain military planes can refuel in midair. Commercial planes can't.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. So if they don't have enough fuel
They have to divert. Maybe they should plan a refuel so they can circle longer. Or have Brad and Angelina buy them a different plane. Anything but piss and moan in the middle of this kind of catastrophe that by all rational sources is a heroic rescue effort.
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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. They have a HOSPITAL!
If both of their planes landed there would have been a fully functioning hospital yp and running 48 hours sooner.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Other groups have doctors and hospitals too
This isn't the only group in the world with necessary supplies to land. Every plane is critical, every single one.
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cartach Donating Member (361 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. While you sit on your
arse and piss and moan because their are real problems that you just don't want to hear about ?
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. You can't just "plan" a refuel. It takes special equipment on the plane and
special pilot and navigator training. My dad did constant training for this when he was in the USAF.

Commercial planes don't have refueling nosecones.
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. The practice is banned but many commercial craft are capable
of mid-air refueling using the "flying boom" method.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Really? Which type/model series do you think supports AAR?
Serious question due in part to some Boeing claims in the air tanker dispute. The extra weight and cost for something never practiced or trained for makes it hard to believe as well.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Commercial planes don't have the refueling nosecones for drawing FROM the boom.
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bullwinkle428 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. I now feel compelled to make another donation to DWB, simply
in the effort to offset the additional costs they're dealing with because of this bureaucratic snafu horseshit!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. That's what you take away from this?
Hundreds of flights and they have TWO diverted and you think that's a terrible snafu???

Really, please, tell me when you directed relief effort for an island of NINE MILLION after any kind of catastrophe, let alone an earthquake.

Honestly who are you people.
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. It's not "bureaucratic snafu horseshit"...you're giving AC and the others the rise they are seeking
It's all about room on the ground. Each aircraft will have to set a bingo fuel once they hit the holding pattern. This fuel is the minimum needed to divert to a safe location. Once the airplane hits their bingo fuel, they HAVE to divert. As soon as there is room, the aircraft waiting in the holding pattern are cleared to land. It's that simple.
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Electric Monk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. and in related news
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

good KOS thread about bottlenecks.

I sent a cheque to MSF (DWB) Wednesday last week, and I think they should be a priority landing over politician photo ops or journalists, fwiw (my 2).
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Politicians must fly on cargo planes
Hillary came in on a military plane that was full of aid and personnel. I don't know about journalists, possibly they came in through Santo Domingo. Still, having them there does more to raise awareness and is worth it provided they don't have more than two or three a day land.
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. In an earlier Doctors Without Borders Press Release...
Posted elsewhere on DU in a "US is a failure" kind of post...

They use the term "Blocked from Landing", as if told to go away... :eyes:

I called bullshit on the use of word "Blocked" in that other OP.

Thanks for posting clarifications!

Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince

Demands Deployment of Lifesaving Medical Equipment Given Priority

UPDATE: January 18, 2010

The Doctors Without Borders/Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) plane filled with supplies needed to establish an inflatable tent field hospital landed at approximately 11 am local time, Sunday, January 17, in Port-au-Prince.

However, another MSF cargo plane carrying vital medical supplies to replenish stocks for Choscal hospital, where an MSF team is working on a backlog of patients needing surgery, was not allowed to land in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, January 17, and was forced to re-route to the Dominican Republic, where it landed. Choscal hospital will run out of medical supplies in less than 24 hours and its cold chain system for preserving medicines and vaccines at the proper temperatures could be compromised if this cargo plane is not able to fly into Port-au-Prince immediately.

More than 500 patients in need of surgery have been transferred from Martissant to Choscal hospital in Cite Soleil. MSF teams are focusing on lifesaving surgery (open wounds, fractures, burns, amputations, and emergency obstetrics). Theyve been working around the clock and have done more than 90 surgeries since the operating theater became functional. Priority is given to lifesaving interventions, such as amputations carried out on patients with gangrene triggered by infected wounds.

http://doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/article.c...
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. Very informative DWB/MSF interview, top link.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
18. fascinating, I applaud the US forces for their efficiency nt
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Born_A_Truman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
23. More News (Snips) from DWB web site

MSF has begun to build an inflatable hospital with two operating theaters and 100-bed capacity in an open field not far from the airport. Though its arrival was delayed by air traffic congestion, the parts are finally arriving in Port-au-Prince. Some came on a plane that was able to land in the capital on Sunday while the rest was transported overland from the Dominican Republic. MSF will have this facility operational as soon as possible.


The Doctors Without Borders/Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) plane filled with supplies needed to establish an inflatable tent field hospital landed at approximately 11 am local time, Sunday, January 17, in Port-au-Prince.
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