Pennsylvania Guard Deploys Broadcast Aircraft to Haiti

About 50 members of the 193rd Special Operations Wing as well as two additional C-130 aircraft departed Middletown, Pa., for Haiti last Thursday and Friday.
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The Pennsylvania National Guard is helping emergency communications in Haiti with the deployment of a TV and radio station in the form of a specially equipped aircraft.

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Airmen assigned to the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard load a C-130J as they prepare to depart Middletown, Pa., for Haiti, Jan. 15, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. David Hawkins.

All the TV and radio stations in Haiti are reported to be down. About 50 members of the 193rd Special Operations Wing as well as two additional C-130 aircraft departed Middletown, Pa., for Haiti last Thursday and Friday.

The aircraft, known as “Commando Solo” is a modified four-engine Hercules transport plane outfitted with AM, FM, HF, TV and military transmitters.

It’s been used for psyops and civil affairs broadcasting in various theaters, including Desert Storm. The 193rd conducted an operation known asPennGuard “Voice of the Gulf” during the 1990-91 conflict, “intended to convince the Iraqi soldiers to surrender,” according to the U.S. Air Force.

The 193rd also deployed to Haiti in 1994 for Operation Uphold Democracy during the transition from military rule.

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