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Diplomacy in Action

Special Haiti Imaging Mission

Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
January 25, 2010


25 January 2010

U.S. Delegation to the Open Skies Consultative Commission

Mr. Chairperson,


Date: 01/16/2010 Description: Haiti Earthquake Open Skies Aircraft Mission, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo shows damaged National Palace and IDP camp. - State Dept Image
Click to view larger and see more photos.

On Saturday, January 16, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) flew the U.S. OC-135B Open Skies observation aircraft on a special imagery collection mission over Haiti in response to the crisis caused by the January 12 earthquake. This important mission was accomplished in part because the earthquake occurred before the “flying season,” a time prior to scheduled Treaty quota missions.

The flight captured 75% of Haitian territory on 8,000 feet of film yielding 2,338 frames using the KA-91 panoramic camera (see attached map). The aircraft flew a total distance of 4,146 kilometers. Approximately 85% of the film was cloud-free. The flight took place between 4,842 to 6,092 meters above ground level. Air traffic control constraints related to ongoing operations at the Port-au-Prince airport precluded flight at lower altitudes.

The film was processed at the Open Skies Media Processing Facility (OSMPF) at Wright-Patterson, AFB, Ohio, and then provided to the Department of Defense's National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Haiti Crisis Cell for review and dissemination to interested support organizations. As you would expect, the imagery from the OC-135B flight provided one of several products from a variety of aerial assets used to contribute to this massive disaster relief effort. We invited the news media to observe the flight, and links to several press articles are included for your future reference.

Mr. Chairman, we will provide further information to the OSCC on the results of this mission as developments warrant.
Please attach this statement to the Journal of the Day. Thank you.


Date: 01/16/2010 Description: Special Haiti Imaging Mission shows map of Haiti and cities: Port-de-Paix; Gonaives; Jeremie; Port-au-Prince; Hinche.  Also shows imaging start segment and January 16 flightpath and imaged areas. - State Dept Image

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