COLUMBUS, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today received a briefing from The Adjutant General of Ohio, Major General Gregory Wayt of the Ohio National Guard regarding ongoing relief efforts being performed by the men and women of the 179th Airlift Wing of the Mansfield Air National Guard Base. In response, Brown issued the following statement:

“My heart goes out to the people of Haiti in the wake of this devastation. My thoughts and prayers are with them as they grieve and work to recover and overcome this tragedy.

“Ohioans have risen to the call of duty in this emergency. The Ohio National Guard responded immediately to the U.S. Southern Command’s order for Haitian relief efforts, and planes from Mansfield were the first on the ground in Haiti. From the men and women of the 179th , the service members at Wright Patterson, and  Ohio’s other disaster relief personnel being deployed, you are true heroes.”

Brown has been working with his Senate colleagues to make sure that relief efforts get the resources they need and are not unnecessarily hampered by red tape.  Brown joined 22 of his Senate colleagues to call for fast track increased funding for the Haitian relief effort as soon as possible.  

“Robust and immediate U.S. assistance to Haiti in the wake of this catastrophe is vital to support stability in that fragile country, and is in our own national security interest” the Senators wrote in the letter.

Brown has previously worked with Drs. Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim, co-founders of international health organization Partners in Health (PIH), to address the devastation caused health disparities and poverty in Haiti. PIH and other international aid groups are working closely with emergency workers like those based in Ohio to save lives and provide relief for the people of Haiti as they recover from the deadliest natural disaster in the nation’s history.

For more information about the relief efforts or for those who have loved ones in Haiti, the U.S. State Department has emergency resources available HERE.