A U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter lifts two 500-gallon bladders full of fresh drinking water for transport from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), to those in need on the Gulf Coast. Bataan has been off the Gulf Coast providing relief efforts since Hurricane Katrina hit the coast. 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 Airman Jeremy L. GrishamMore photos here.
This points out the difficulty in working in an environment in which the entire infrastructure is gone - everything has to be brought in from outside. With one operational highway, the air and sea bridges become vital.
UPDATE: Prime mover LT General Honore on some of the logistics issues (and if I hear one more reporter ot reporterette ask a stupid "why did it take so long?" I will throw a brick at the TV - it been asked and answered and asked and answered- move forward and quit pointing fingers you fluffy-headed know nothings. UPDATE: See this.) here
Getting food and water to the people at the city's convention center was a difficult process, Honore said.(Hat tip to CDR Salamander)
"If you ever have 20,000 people come to supper, you know what I'm talking about. If it's easy, it would have been done already."
Honore recognizes that storm victims have waited days for relief, and his troops are trying to get them out of the city and into a more comfortable environment.
"Our number one task is to deal with the concentration of people in New Orleans, as well as those that are isolated. And we're going to get after it," he said. (Watch the exclusive video report of the general sent to the rescue -- 10:02)
The general acknowledged that frustration, and in some cases lawlessness, is building.
"By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated; I would be, too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out."