About two weeks ago, several elements of Fort Benning’s 11th Engineer Battalion were told to prepare to deploy to the earthquake-ravaged city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.
The unit has since been instructed to stand down, meaning its services aren’t immediately needed there as humanitarian aid continues to pour in from around the world. In a moment’s notice, however, those orders could change. If they do, the approximately 780 members of the battalion would be responsible for rapidly executing a massive mobilization from Fort Benning in support of Operation Unified Response.
As it stands now, there’s about a 50 percent chance the battalion will be called upon to join the relief effort in Haiti, said 11th Engineer Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Dwayne Smith.
“Flip a coin,” Smith said. “We don’t know. But this battalion’s ready. We were ready before this hit in Haiti. This is what we do every day.”
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