Unrep MSC to amphib

Monday, September 05, 2005

USS Iwo Jima Arrives to Assist Recovery Efforts


USS Iwo Jima has arrived to begin recovery assistance operation off the Katrina damage area as set out here:
After a three-day high-speed transit down the East Coast of the United States and around into the Gulf of Mexico, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), along with various embarked air and amphibious landing assets, arrived on station in the Gulf of Mexico off Biloxi, Miss., Sept. 3 to begin humanitarian assistance operations to the devastated region.

The multipurpose, amphibious assault ship raced from its home port of Norfolk, Va., to head to areas off the Gulf Coast as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

“The dynamic flexibility of amphibious operations makes this the ideal platform for this type of humanitarian assistance,” said Capt. Sinclair Harris, commander, Amphibious Squadron 4. “Twenty-four hours after Iwo Jima received the call to assist, we were stocked with supplies and headed to the Gulf. We’ve quickly established communications to support the humanitarian mission and added support and mobility to FEMA and all agencies involved.”
Among the Navy units I've observed is Helicopte Squadron HC-2, the "Fleet Angels" out of Norfolk, who were heavily involved with recovery operations during Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina...They are one of the last US Navy groups flying the H-2 Sea King.

Top photo caption:
Aviation Ordnanceman Airmen Kyle Baker and Arthur Mitchell hook up supplies to a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Eight (HSC-28), on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). The ship departed Norfolk to join other military assets as part of Joint Task Force Katrina to bring much-needed supplies and relief efforts to Gulf Coast states ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Christian Knoel

Iwo Jima is not alone (photo caption:
U.S. Navy flight deck personnel take part in an emergency replenishment working party aboard the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46), as they load water into an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter in support of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. The Navy's involvement in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Brian P. Seymour


UPDATE: Amy Ridenour has a nice email from Joe Roche, whose wife is one of the rescue helo pilots, here on the military side of the operations in Katrina.

UPDATE 2:
Some Katrina evacuees are being taken to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida:
Forty-two victims of Hurricane Katrina were medically evacuated to Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 4, arriving at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville.

The evacuated patients were flown to Jacksonville aboard an Air Force C-130 aircraft from New Orleans.

The casualties consisted of 31 litter patients and 11 walking patients. The City of Jacksonville implemented its mass casualty incident plan and mobilized emergency response assets from the entire community to assist in this effort. This involved receipt, triage and transport of these patients to appropriate care facilities.

Agencies involved included City of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), all of the private ambulance services in the city, as well as volunteers from such organizations as the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.

Nearly every private-sector hospital in the city was on call to receive patients. Navy assets were also brought to bear, including base security and fire department personnel, Sailors from NAS Jacksonville and its tenant commands, who served as litter bearers on the flight line and Naval Hospital Jacksonville emergency response personnel, who helped coordinate the evolution.
(Photo caption:
U.S. Navy Sailors assist in transporting one of 43 Hurricane Katrina survivors that were transported from New Orleans to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., aboard a U.S. Air Force Reserve Command C-130 Hercules aircraft. The Navy's involvement in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Andrea Decanini
)
UPDATE 3:
Navy Construction Battalions (SeaBees) in action: (Photo caption:
From left, U.S. Navy Seabees, Equipment Operator 1st Classes Jonathan Burleson, Eric Koppel and Equipment Operator 2nd Class Robert Embery walk carrying chainsaws and gasoline to the next set of tree limbs blocking the roadway in Gulf, Miss. The Navy's involvement in the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian assistance operations is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Ja'lon A. Rhinehart )


One thought- all the SeaBees are wearing water packs ("Camel Baks") - and so are capable of staying hydrated in the hot MIssissippi sun. Another example of useful experience gained from operations in Iraq...

UPDATE 4:
The Port-a-Let Airlift? Makes sense to me.

UPDATE 5: 82nd Airborne arrives in New Orleans: (Caption:
Members of the 82nd Airborne from Fort Bragg, N.C., arrive at the Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans, La., on Sept. 3, 2005. They will deploy throughout the city of New Orleans to help bring order and safety in support of Hurricane Katrina relief effort. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Michael E. Best)


UPDATE 6: US Navy Reserve Headquarter has temporarily relocated from New Orleans to Tennessee.

UPDATE7:Crew members aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) work together to move a rubber bladder holding 500 gallons of fresh drinking water for transport.

Moving water
U.S. Navy Seabee, Constructionman Seaman Michael Jackson, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One (NMCB-1), Alpha Company, fills a portable potable water tank for the South Mississippi Kidney Center in North Gulfport, Miss. The center is currently treating more than 300 dialysis patients with the use of emergency generators. The lifesaving water the Navy is delivering to the center is used for filtering patient's blood. Without this vital component, patients would be forced to travel to the next city for treatment.

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