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Thursday, February 03, 2005

USNS Mercy and USS Abraham Lincoln on station

Tsunami relief, still at it:
"050203-N-6020P-181 Indian Ocean (Feb. 3, 2005) - The Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) navigates alongside USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) after arriving on station near Banda Aceh, Sumamtra, Indonesia. Mercy has been forward deployed to assist in humanitarian aid efforts currently in progress. Mercy will serve as an enabling platform to assist humanitarian operations ashore in ways that host nations and international relief organization find useful. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group has been operating in the Indian Ocean off the waters of Indonesia in support of Operation Unified Assistance the humanitarian relief effort to aid the victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Gabriel R. Piper"

Cool picture, too.

Update: Related article
Since arriving on station off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, USS Essex (LHD 2) has delivered more than 1 million pounds of humanitarian aid to tsunami survivors in the northern areas of the island.

This outstanding accomplishment was completed in eight days from Jan. 18 through Jan. 25.

The Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship was able to move the enormous amount of supplies with the help of various helicopters and landing craft, air-cushion (LCAC) hovercrafts.

According to Essex Commanding Officer Capt J. M. van Tol, the helos came from numerous locations.

"Essex's normally embarked 31 Marine Expeditionary Unit Air Combat Element is currently engaged in Iraq. Thus, we needed to get some helo dets in order to execute meaningful humanitarian assistance/disaster relief ops off Sumatra," said van Tol. "We embarked four Bahrain-based MH-53Es (Sea Dragon), six CH-46s (Sea Knight) from Okinawa, and two more MH-60Ss (Knighthawk) from Niagara Falls [USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3)], in addition to our own Helicopter Combat Squadron (HC) 5 det."

"These helos gave us a very substantial and versatile lift capacity, allowing us to pickup large quantities of supplies from Sabang Island and Banda Aceh, and deliver them to various locations where they were needed," added van Tol.

Additionally, supplies were carried to the shore by
LCACs currently operating off USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), another forward deployed ship out of Sasebo, Japan, and a part of the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group....

Another fine Navy/Marine Corps day.

UpDate: UN Joint Logistics Centre Bulletins. Sort through it.

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