Long ago and far away

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

U.S. Navy Tsunami Help Continues

As the MSM turns to more "exciting" stories, the hard work of getting aid to those affected by the "Boxing Day" Tsunami continues. The U.S. Navy Newsstand has a collection of reports of what is and has been done here.

A quick trip through the site will lead you to articles on the arrival of the hospital ship USNS Mercy into the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility and how the Navy is planning to invite various non-governmental, humanitarian aid groups to augment the existing staff. Mercy can accomodate up to 1000 patients at appropriate manning levels and has 12 operating rooms.

There is a link to another article about the guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) undertaking the delivery of two Spanish Red Cross provided water purifiers to a remote area of Indonesia, proving that even the non-amphibious ships of the task force assembled offshore are assisting in the effort.
As the purifiers were shuttled ashore from the ship, Milius Command Master Chief CMDCM (SW/AW) JoAnn Ortloff sneaked a few boxes of items donated by Milius crew members aboard the helicopter. She had taken a collection to gather extra clothes and hygiene items for the tsunami victims, as well as putting together a small collection of toys and coloring books for local children.

“With everyone busy getting food and water and clothes, I thought maybe they’re forgotten,” Ortloff said. “I don’t want them to forget that they’re still kids.”


Photo: USS Milius (DDG-69) underway

Official U.S. Navy photo.

And don't overlook the efforts of the U.S. Logistics Group Western Pacific, located in Singapore, as reflected in this article.
Sailors here are working with enthusiasm to keep HADR supplies flowing to the forces that are distributing them.

“We're working long hours with no days off, but it's worth it,” said Storekeeper 1st Class Reiner Tumang, who works in NRCC’s logistics support center. “We know the disaster victims really appreciate the help.”

“I participated in the evacuation of the Philippines [following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo],” Quinn said. “I was struck then by the sense of common purpose, of everyone pulling together to help their fellow human beings. I see that same sense of dedication now, and even more so by our men and women here in Singapore.

“The work we’ve been doing is a matter of life and death,” Quinn said. “That’s the motivation.”


(Hat tip: Singapore Tsunami Relief Effort)

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