Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the following statement concerning U.S. contributions to the earthquake recovery effort in Haiti:


“The aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti is a tragedy of the first order.  Because of the United States’ enduring relationship with Haiti, it is only right for the U.S. to be in the forefront of the international relief and recovery effort.  America has both the compassion and the military expertise to bring needed assistance to the people of Haiti.    


“I spoke today with General Douglas Fraser, the Commander of U.S. Southern Command, about the U.S. military’s contribution to disaster relief efforts in Haiti.  America is sending aid, including a Marine Expeditionary Force and Army paratroopers.  The U.S. Coast Guard has already arrived, and the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort are on the way.  The American military has a great deal of experience providing humanitarian assistance, and I am confident they will bring order to the relief effort.


            “I urged General Fraser to let Congress know what more he needs to make this relief effort a success.  In the days ahead, let us keep our thoughts and prayers with Haiti’s earthquake victims, their families, and all those involved in the humanitarian assistance effort.”