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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/31/2005 12:08:37 PM EDT
August 31, 2005

Four ships deploy to join
hurricane relief effort

By William H. McMichael
Times staff writer

The Navy joined the massive federal humanitarian relief effort for Hurricane Katrina victims Wednesday, launching four amphibious ships out of Norfolk throughout the day to join yet another already on station off the devastated Gulf Coast.

The sun had not yet risen as sailors steadily streamed down pier 10 to board the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, scheduled to leave Norfolk Naval Station early Wednesday afternoon. Preceding the ship out of port were the amphibious transport dock ship Shreveport and, out of nearby Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, the dock landing ship Tortuga and the rescue and salvage ship Grapple.

The ships and their roughly 2,500 sailors were preparing to transport bottled water, medical teams and supplies, food, tents and tarps, construction equipment and air-cushioned landing craft, picking up some at points along the way.

Iwo Jima can independently generate as many as 200,000 gallons of fresh water a day and also is bringing two portable units that can make sea water drinkable.

The ship also maintains a non-combatant evacuation supply locker stocked with supplies of baby food and diapers and that was being bolstered, Iwo Jima senior chief ships’ servicemen (SW) Kevin Baker said.

The 3,100 mile trip was expected to take about four days, officials said.

The ships will join the amphibious assault ship Bataan, now about 100 miles south of New Orleans and already shuttling two MH-60 search and rescue helicopters and two MH-53 helos to assist Coast Guard and local rescue efforts already underway there.

The Navy ships join what is being called Task Force Katrina, a joint effort by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Defense Department to aid the hundred of thousands of people still stranded in areas ranging from still flooded New Orleans to the devastated Mississippi coast and points east.

Conditions on the ground demand assets such as the Navy’s air-cushioned landing craft and additional helicopters; at this point, all roads and rails leading into the damaged areas are “out of commission,” said Capt. Sinclair M. Harris, commodore of Amphibious Squadron 4.

“We’re doing God’s work,” Harris said. “We’ll be able to operate as long as necessary.”

Sailors and leaders interviewed, some who have friends and relatives in the gulf region, were unanimous in their desire to get going and lend a hand.

“Absolutely,” Baker said. “It’s not often that we get to go help fellow Americans.” He added that in the midst of preparation, he was “anxious to hear something” about relatives in the Mobile, Ala., area he hadn’t yet been able to contact. He also had a niece rescued from an attic in a Pascagoula, Miss., home, he said.

“I’m honored to go down there,” said Information Systems Technician (SW/AW) 1st Class Christopher Banner of the Iwo Jima. “I have friends in New Orleans. We haven’t heard from them since [the storm].”

Harris said the ships would not be picking up their normal complements of Marines, freeing more than 2,000 bunks on Iwo Jima alone.

One potential difficulty facing the ships is the amount of debris, such as oil rigs broken off their moorings, in the gulf waters, Harris said. “We’re going to get as close as we can,” he said, in an effort to help helicopter fliers conserve fuel. Harris said the Bataan and the Coast Guard were working jointly to determine the best point of approach for the incoming ships.

Humanitarian relief is nothing new for the Iwo Jima, which last performed such a mission off the Liberian coast in October 2003.

“We practice that mission every single day,” said Capt. Richard S. Callas, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “This is our bread and butter.”

Units embarked on the four ships include Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 2 and Beach Master Unit 2, all based at Little Creek. The four ships also will bring with them six disaster relief teams that include amphibious construction equipment, medical personnel and supplies.



August 31, 2005

Comfort to deploy to Gulf Coast

By Mark D. Faram
Times staff writer

The Navy is preparing to deploy the hospital ship Comfort to assist in relief efforts on the Gulf Coast.

“The USNS Comfort is making preparations to get underway,” said Lt. John Schofield, spokesman for the Navy at the Pentagon, on Aug. 31. “However, she is still awaiting a formal deployment order.”

Though the order was expected, Schofield said specifics on what the ship might carry and who may be embarked were still being worked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Northern Command, which are in overall charge of the disaster relief efforts.

“The Navy is only a piece of this effort,” Schofield said. “The Comfort is a tool that may be utilized if needed by FEMA and NorthCom — so when they might be able to help, how they might help and to what degree they might be employed will be decided by those agencies through the established task force.”

The Comfort, one of the Navy’s two hospital ships currently in service, is a converted oil tanker, measuring 584 feet long and nearly 106 feet wide.

The ship, in service with the Navy since 1987, is a floating 1,000-bed hospital with 12 operating rooms and the ability to care for up to 80 critically injured patients at a time.

The ship is operated by Military Sealift Command and is normally kept in a deployment-ready state in its home port of Baltimore.

When the ship is at reduced operating status, it is manned by a civilian crew of 18 civilian mariners and 58 Navy medical people, usually deployed from Bethesda Naval Hospital, though it has total crew accommodations of up to 1,215 people, making it a candidate to house displaced people as well.

In the ship’s 18 years of service, it has activated and deployed four times, including Operation Noble Eagle, where it deployed to New York City in support of the post-Sept. 11 search and rescue efforts and most recently in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Navy hospital ships have often deployed worldwide in support of natural disaster relief efforts. Comfort’s sister ship, the USNS Mercy, based in San Diego, deployed earlier this year in support of the tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia.

August 31, 2005

Bataan stands ready to
help Katrina victims

By Christopher Munsey
Times staff writer


As the amphibious assault ship Bataan stood by ready to help the hurricane-devastated communities of the Gulf Coast, the Navy readied three more Norfolk-based ships for relief work, if needed.
The amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, amphibious dock landing ship Tortuga and amphibious transport dock ship Shreveport were ordered Monday to get ready to get underway, if ordered, said 2nd Fleet spokesman Lt. Mike Kafka.

The ships were told to be ready to go within 24 hours if ordered, Kafka said.

Iwo Jima and Tortuga were already scheduled to leave port for training early this week, Kafka said.

If ordered to deploy, the three ships could assist with delivering water ashore, medical care and search and rescue, using ship-based helicopters, landing craft and landing-craft air cushions, he said.

“We can provide assistance from the water side,” he said.

Aboard Bataan, which had visited Ingleside, Texas, following a multinational training exercise near the Panama Canal, a fourth MH-53 helicopter was scheduled to fly aboard from Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, bolstering Bataan’s two MH-60 helicopters.

Working through Northern Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for requesting military assistance to help deal with the hurricane’s aftermath, Kafka said.

“If FEMA requests the assets, the Navy is standing by to assist,” he said.

Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:09:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:13:54 PM EDT
God Bless our troops.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:17:50 PM EDT
Although the subject title is misleading, we've been discussing this here:LINK
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:24:29 PM EDT
WooHooo! The Super Hornets will give those looters what for.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:28:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AshNH:
WooHooo! The Super Hornets will give those looters what for.



From where? None of those ships are carriers.

Iwo is a good ship, I was deployed aboard her in 2003.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:29:19 PM EDT
I wonder if Cindy thinks this is a noble mission...

What would we do with our troops? The cavalry's coming, people, just on ships and they're not tooting horns.

Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:32:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
I wonder if Cindy thinks this is a noble mission...

What would we do with our troops? The cavalry's coming, people, just on ships and they're not tooting horns.





We should stop worshipping the gods of war.

[mumble] Fuckin' loony-assed moonbat... [/mumble]
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:34:09 PM EDT
Kudos to President Bush for calling on our forces.

You know those guys were chomping at the bit to help.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:36:13 PM EDT
Great. Now put a 2000 man MEU on the Bataan, and send SBU 22 in from MS, and you'll have a real anti-looting squad.


Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:37:44 PM EDT
I'm just glad to see them helping OUR people for a change. We save the world and it's never enough for the loonies.

I wonder if Kerry and Kennedy will be down there helping out, too?

Kerry could get another Purple Heart but Teddy don't need to be anywhere near water.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:38:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By AshNH:
WooHooo! The Super Hornets will give those looters what for.



From where? None of those ships are carriers.

Iwo is a good ship, I was deployed aboard her in 2003.




Harriers BABY!
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:44:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 12:49:17 PM EDT by ArmedAggie]

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By AshNH:
WooHooo! The Super Hornets will give those looters what for.



From where? None of those ships are carriers.

Iwo is a good ship, I was deployed aboard her in 2003.



www.vnn.vn/dataimages/original/images34347_Trang%2018-%20Anh%202.jpg
Harriers BABY!



I would expect them to off-load the Harriers to make room for rescue gear.

ETA: Although they would be awesome for riot/looting control.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:56:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By AshNH:
WooHooo! The Super Hornets will give those looters what for.



From where? None of those ships are carriers.

Iwo is a good ship, I was deployed aboard her in 2003.



www.vnn.vn/dataimages/original/images34347_Trang%2018-%20Anh%202.jpg
Harriers BABY!



You presume there will be a USMC ACE contigent aboard. Perhaps rotary wing, but not likely any SCAREriers.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:59:12 PM EDT
They need Ospreys






I do wonder how well they would do in this situation though.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:01:38 PM EDT
Go NAVY!

I guess I know where my HM3 nephew will be headed when he returns to Camp Lejeune from Iraq (Fallujah) in 12 days!
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:02:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 1:02:45 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:04:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:11:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:22:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By vito113:
So…… will the US Navy be ferrying in ESSENTIAL supplies to the 'survivors' in New Orleans?

You know, essentials like crowbars to break into stores, matches to torch them and shopping carts to carry away their loot?


Sorry, had to be said… All I'm seeing on the newsfeeds is looters…



Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



Truly, and hopefully they will be allowed to put a stop to the looting.

It's pretty shocking the frenzied looting by people who don't seem to have any desire to help themselves or seek shelter or safety. It's looting for lootings sake. After all, where do you take your looted goods in a flooded city??

Andy



Marines cannot be used to enforce laws or act in a law enforcement role, even under martial law. The Guard can do so, but no active duty. Besides, this is hypocritical of those who claim the JBTs are coming. Why is it now we WANT the military to act against our own citizens? Can't have it both ways, folks.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:29:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Marines cannot be used to enforce laws or act in a law enforcement role, even under martial law. The Guard can do so, but no active duty. Besides, this is hypocritical of those who claim the JBTs are coming. Why is it now we WANT the military to act against our own citizens? Can't have it both ways, folks.



But we can shell animals.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:30:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By go3:

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
Marines cannot be used to enforce laws or act in a law enforcement role, even under martial law. The Guard can do so, but no active duty. Besides, this is hypocritical of those who claim the JBTs are coming. Why is it now we WANT the military to act against our own citizens? Can't have it both ways, folks.



But we can shell animals.



I got no problem with that.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:33:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By vito113:
So…… will the US Navy be ferrying in ESSENTIAL supplies to the 'survivors' in New Orleans?

You know, essentials like crowbars to break into stores, matches to torch them and shopping carts to carry away their loot?


Sorry, had to be said… All I'm seeing on the newsfeeds is looters…



Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



When deployed as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) (formerly Amphibious Readiness Group) yes, they do. But they are not part of one right now, so no embarked Marines.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 1:39:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 2:51:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By Aimless:


Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



When deployed as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) (formerly Amphibious Readiness Group) yes, they do. But they are not part of one right now, so no embarked Marines.



An ARG becomes an ESG with the addition of surface combatants. There are Marines aboard those ships, at least an parts of an ACE. That is who provides the vertical lift. I am not sure if there is a ground combat element aboard or not.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:09:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By Aimless:


Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



When deployed as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) (formerly Amphibious Readiness Group) yes, they do. But they are not part of one right now, so no embarked Marines.



An ARG becomes an ESG with the addition of surface combatants. There are Marines aboard those ships, at least an parts of an ACE. That is who provides the vertical lift. I am not sure if there is a ground combat element aboard or not.


They didn't stop in NC, so I doubt it.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:00:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 5:01:27 PM EDT by napalm]

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

Marines cannot be used to enforce laws or act in a law enforcement role, even under martial law.





Sorry, but I have to call on that.


School integration in Little Rock, Arkansas in the late 1950s saw the use of federal troops, specifically the 101st Airborne Division, to enforce federal law.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:07:06 PM EDT
Some navy guy (captain of one of the ships involved or something) was on fox earlier and said something about marines being on the ships, i wasn't paying attention though, didnt catch it all and they haven't replayed it.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:09:34 PM EDT
I'm sure there are Marines onboard. However, the debate is whether or not a Ground Combat Element is embarked.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:11:53 PM EDT
YAY floating water production!!!!!


GO NAVY
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:14:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:18:57 PM EDT
Marines were readed to intervene if there had been rioting after the second, Federal, Rodney King beating trial.

But since the verdict went the mobs way they were not needed.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:52:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By Aimless:


Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



When deployed as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) (formerly Amphibious Readiness Group) yes, they do. But they are not part of one right now, so no embarked Marines.



An ARG becomes an ESG with the addition of surface combatants. There are Marines aboard those ships, at least an parts of an ACE. That is who provides the vertical lift. I am not sure if there is a ground combat element aboard or not.


They didn't stop in NC, so I doubt it.



They wouldn't likely stop. just sail by and the aircraft would fly aboard from New River. But, I haven't heard about or seen any activity, so my guess is no Marine Aviation assets aboard. Anyways, pretty much everything not in Iraq either just got back and is broke dick, or is getting ready to go.

Roger on the the ARG/ESG relationship. I was on the last East Coast MEU before they added the surface combatants and wasn't aware that the still used the ARG nomenclature.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:57:26 PM EDT
It is possible that the QRF or whatever they are calling it these days from II MEF/2nd MARDIV will get used for this though.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:09:09 PM EDT
Don't get too excited for the military to enforce order. Legally, they can't. As much as those helo crews would love to, they will be too busy doing relief logistics. I doubt if they'll even be armed. Jets and Harriers will not be involved. This is all about pallets of Aquafina and emergency medevacs...still a dangerous and important mission!
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:21:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:

Originally Posted By Aimless:


Don't those boats sometimes come with something called "Marines"?



When deployed as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) (formerly Amphibious Readiness Group) yes, they do. But they are not part of one right now, so no embarked Marines.



An ARG becomes an ESG with the addition of surface combatants. There are Marines aboard those ships, at least an parts of an ACE. That is who provides the vertical lift. I am not sure if there is a ground combat element aboard or not.


They didn't stop in NC, so I doubt it.



They wouldn't likely stop. just sail by and the aircraft would fly aboard from New River. But, I haven't heard about or seen any activity, so my guess is no Marine Aviation assets aboard. Anyways, pretty much everything not in Iraq either just got back and is broke dick, or is getting ready to go.

Roger on the the ARG/ESG relationship. I was on the last East Coast MEU before they added the surface combatants and wasn't aware that the still used the ARG nomenclature.



I'm pretty sure all the helo assets are going VFR direct to the site. You should also expect to see KC-130's setting up to ferry fuel and bladders down to the outlying airfields around NOLA, for ground refueling ops.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:25:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunnyG:
I'm pretty sure all the helo assets are going VFR direct to the site. You should also expect to see KC-130's setting up to ferry fuel and bladders down to the outlying airfields around NOLA, for ground refueling ops.


That makes way too much sense. They could get there faster and then just restage from shore to ship and back as needed.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 6:33:13 PM EDT
Any of those Tsunami countries rebuilt enough to send us some bottled water yet? No? Hmmm...nevermind then.
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