The U.S. Navy Seabees are currently deploying additional personnel to the Gulf Coast to help with Hurricane Katrina recovery operations.
Two active-duty Seabee battalions from Port Hueneme, Calif., Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) detachments from both coasts, and Reserve Seabee volunteers from various areas will join those already in Gulfport, Miss., for a total Seabee force of up to 3,000.
As currently envisioned, their initial mission will be to clear roads so that civil organizations can reach hurricane victims and to set up logistics centers to distribute food and water as well as to provide emergency medical services. Concurrently, they will also assist military bases in the area to get back in operation.
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 are now arriving in Gulfport from Port Hueneme, Calif., with the remainder of the battalion to follow. They will be followed by Seabees from NMCB 4, who will also deploy from Port Hueneme. Seabees from CBMU 202 detachments in Virginia, Florida and Georgia are also planning to deploy in coming days, along with CBMU 303 detachments from Washington state, California and Hawaii.
Gulfport-based Seabees from NMCBs 1, 7 and 133 are currently clearing roads, removing debris and repairing fences at Construction Battalion Center Gulfport. They also cleared a path along 15th Street in Gulfport to provide access to Memorial County Hospital.
The Seabees continue work to clear Highway 90 to Pass Christian, along with other vital roads to help civil authorities gain access to residents.
Another part of the Navy is hard at work doing rescue work. Photo caption:
U.S. Navy air crewmen assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron One Five (HM-15) stationed at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, attend to hurricane victims on board an MH-53E helicopter. HM-15 is embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), assisting in the post-Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts in downtown New Orleans. The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operation is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Pedro A. RodriguezMore pictures here.
UPDATE: More military assets being brought to the US Gulf
-Approximately 100 airmen and four HH-60G “Pave Hawk” helicopters from the 55th Rescue Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to Jackson, Miss., to conduct search and rescue missions.
-Twenty airmen from the 943rd Rescue Group, also from Davis-Monthan, to conduct rescue missions in the region.
-About 44 members of Pope Air Force Base’s 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are headed to New Orleans for rescue work.
-Two aeromedical evacuation crews from the 932nd Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to New Orleans.
-The 5th Combat Communications Group from Robins Air Force Base to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and New Orleans. The group will provide Keesler and a makeshift hospital in New Orleans with communications networks.
-A 105-member Red Horse team from Hurlburt Field, Fla., assisting relief operations in the region. Red Horse is a heavy civil engineering construction unit.
-Six CH-53E Super Stallions and two CH-46E Sea Knights from Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. These aircraft will work out of Naval Air Station Pensacola and regional airports around New Orleans.
-HMH-772, a Reserve squadron out of Willow Grove, Pa., has sent four CH-53E Super Stallions. No location given.
-HMLA-773 from Marietta, Ga., and Belle Chasse, La., have provided three UH-1N Hueys and one AH-1W Cobra to support the Air National Guard at Lafayette, La.
-The 4th Amphibious Assault Battalion, a Reserve unit out of Jacksonville, Fla., has deployed eight Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) to Gulfport, Miss.
-A Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force comprising units from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., to assist in the continued humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. No location given.,