Gen. Douglas Fraser, US Southern Command boss, said that airmen, soldiers, and marines on the ground in Haiti, following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, joined forces to help unload the hundreds of aircraft arriving daily to get them back in the air in less than five minutes to avoid gridlock. Following the quick work by Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers to open the airfield at Port au Prince international airport, which quickly ramped up from 12 cargo flights per day to 160, with 100 helicopters transiting the facility daily, as Joint Task Force-Haiti worked initially to keep the supplies rolling in 24 hours a day in the initial phase of the operation. As of Feb. 16, the task force recorded more than 3,200 sorties at the airport—673 of which were DOD flights. (Also read Time Out for Haiti)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.