Assessment: Port-au-Prince does no longer have the capacity to take in cargo ships as the public port / APN wharf collapsed, although beach off-loading can remain an option. Saint-Marc and Gonaives ports are in good shape and operational and could be used as alternate facilities. The only two points of entry for fuel in the country suffered important damages, in particular the TEVESA / Varreux terminal in Cité Soleil that is currently unusable. Thor terminal in Carrefour, although affected, could reportedly still operate. Although a quick-fix could be possible through temporary hoses in order to supply the country with fuel, JMAC could not receive any information in that sense to date.
Saint-Marc port seems undamaged but has no lifting capacity; with an estimated depth of 5m, it can take in medium-sized ships.
Carrefour / Thor-Le Volant oil terminal
The pier and pipes are damaged at several locations as piling collapsed on several points. As a result, a leak of heavy oil slick (already sunk) stretches over a few square kilometers moving west.
The tanks need an on-foot check but appear to be intact from the air. Warehouses seem in good shape and stable. The power plant is still probably operational. According to DINASA representatives, Thor can still be functioning and the company is awaiting a shipment. However, recce flights showed that both the pier and pipes were damaged and leaking, with a few square kilometers slick of heavy oil moving west. It remains unclear to date if the shipment announced by DINASA would be delivered through the pipes. Tanks appear to be in good condition. They are located at a short distance from the shore –an advantage if temporary hoses are to be installed.
APN / Public port
The new wharf completely disappeared under the water with the two mobile cranes. A third crane that was stored between the two main dock facilities is still standing but probably needs repair. Storage facilities are tilted and unsafe as the whole wharf area sloped to the sea. It was flooded and covered with mud coming out of significant cracks in the ground.
A part (around 100m) of the old pier collapsed after Ford Island. Buildings on Ford Island (customs and port administration) were located suffered severe damages and can no longer be used. Cars and containers in the sea as well as the probably insufficient depth by the shore make it extremely hazardous to try to come alongside what is left of the pier.
Crane is jacked off and wharf sustained major cracks. A large portion of the main pier collapsed and is under the water. Pipes appear broken.
That's the "what."
Here is the "so what." The Navy-Marine Corps team has a unique opportunity to look again at what they need to move large amounts of man and material ashore in a semi-permissive environment. Semi-permissive runs the whole gambit from humanitarian assistance, consequence management, all the way to warfighting.
If you think you can do it all with the U/H/C/SH-60 family of rotary wing, LPD-17, MV-22, and LCAC then you are not thinking right.
Lots of good lessons here - if we want to listen to them. Lots of ideas on how to leverage MSC and USNR - if we want to own them.
"What's next?" The QDR. That bolt is already shot - got to spin from here. BTW, if you want to play - tune in to Midrats next Sunday - that is the topic.
Finally, doing what Sailor and Marines are best at - getting the job done. a shot that begs the question; is this in your ROC/POE?
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 25, 2010) Service members working with U.S. Marine Corps 8th Engineer Support Battalion use a bulldozer to remove submerged container boxes. Military engineers are conducting salvage and repair operations in the main seaport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during Operation Unified Response. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Lussier/Released)