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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/1/2005 4:28:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2005 4:47:08 PM EDT by KA3B]
Additional Ships Headed to U.S. Gulf Coast
Story Number: NNS050901-08
Release Date: 9/1/2005 10:36:00 AM

From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) are making preparations to get underway Sept. 1 for areas off the U.S. Gulf Coast in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief operations associated with Hurricane Katrina.

Truman will serve as the command center and afloat staging base, and will carry additional helicopters from Naval Air Station Jacksonville to support search and rescue (SAR) efforts. Whidbey Island will bring with it the capability to employ a movable causeway to the region.

The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is a collaborative effort. The Navy is working to meet local and state requirements forwarded to the U.S. Northern Command through the Department of Defense from state governors and FEMA federal coordinators.

Truman and Whidbey Island will join five other Norfolk-based ships that are already at sea and will remain on station for as long as necessary to provide important humanitarian assistance to the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Katrina.

Additionally, USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), based at Naval Station Earl, N.J., is en-route and arrived in the Gulf Coast operating area Aug. 31.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:33:18 PM EDT
I heard the Army General say aircraft carrier; I didn't believe him.

I'm glad to see the AOE, six ships conducting flight ops are going to get thirsty.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:46:23 PM EDT
Is this good to position so much naval assets in a hurricane region at the start of the season. Another one of those storms could be generating in the Atlantic, and could heavily damage them if they are caught in its path.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:47:26 PM EDT
Hospital Ship Comfort to Support FEMA Hurricane Relief Efforts
Story Number: NNS050901-23
Release Date: 9/1/2005 5:20:00 PM

From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), based here, was activated Aug. 31 in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) efforts to provide medical support in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Comfort, one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States, is being readied quickly for her mission and is expected to get underway for the Gulf Coast by September 3.

Comfort is normally kept at Baltimore's Canton Pier in reduced operating status with a cadre crew of 18 civil service mariners who maintain the vessel, as well as a hospital support staff of 58 military personnel who care for the ship’s hospital facilities, equipment and supplies. When called to action, the ship is designed to be activated, crewed, mission-ready and able to sail in five days.

Additional crew members and medical personnel are now arriving on board, specific medical supplies are being procured and ship systems are being readied to expedite the ship's departure.

It will take the 894-foot hospital ship about seven days to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast region, with a stop in Mayport, Fla. Comfort will stop in Mayport en route to the Gulf Coast to load additional medical supplies, as well as additional hospital personnel, mostly from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The ship will get underway with about 270 military personnel who operate the ship's on-board Medical Treatment Facility and a crew of 63 civil service mariners from Military Sealift Command who operate the ship. The ship will be initially staffed to support 250 patient beds.

Comfort is one of two Navy hospital ships. Her sister ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), is berthed in San Diego and has not been ordered to activate. Mercy deployed to Southeast Asia in January in response to the Dec. 26 tsunami for a six-month humanitarian relief mission, during which Mercy treated more than 100,000 patients in Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

Comfort was last called to duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January 2003, the ship sailed from Baltimore to the Persian Gulf to provide medical care to U.S. military personnel, Iraqi civilians and enemy prisoners of war. The ship also activated on Sept. 12, 2001, and spent three weeks in New York City providing support to relief workers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:48:08 PM EDT
You don't know too much about Navy ships, do you.


Originally Posted By warlord:
Is this good to position so much naval assets in a hurricane region at the start of the season. Another one of those storms could be generating in the Atlantic, and could heavily damage them if they are caught in its path.

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:50:48 PM EDT
Going to take what.. 4-6 days for the ships to arrive. Just in time for cleanup or will there still be rescue operations going on?
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:50:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Is this good to position so much naval assets in a hurricane region at the start of the season. Another one of those storms could be generating in the Atlantic, and could heavily damage them if they are caught in its path.


Yeah cause we'll just keep the ships in one place because ships can't move.


Can someone explain the rampant stupidity on this site over the past four days?

I used to come here and think there are sharp people here and the country isn't that bad off, but there are so many biting the MSM line hook, line and sinker. And then there are posts like those above. I'm starting to think we ought to give up and let big brother win. I don't think some people can survive without it.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:52:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2005 4:57:38 PM EDT by dport]

Originally Posted By 7:
Going to take what.. 4-6 days for the ships to arrive. Just in time for cleanup or will there still be rescue operations going on?


Depends on when they leave. IIRC we were just tooling around, doing training, and it took three days. I'm sure the TRUMAN will be making best speed all the way, so probably two days. The AOE will take about three. The LSD 2.5 or three days, I'd guess.

ETA: There will be plenty of hospital beds given the two LHDs already dispatched and the TRUMAN until the COMFORT arrives.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 4:54:09 PM EDT
I'm no military expert, no experience. But I had a cousin in the Navy and I know that it takes days for a ship to get it's shit together to get underway, fuel, food, water, supplies, all personell on board. For the Navy to get this much stuff moving in such short notice is nothing short of a mircle. I can just imagine the orders coming down from the President to get their asses moving now.

Folks, amid all this chaos, heros are being born by the dozens.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:02:23 PM EDT
Being retired Navy I can imagine that the scuttlebutt and mess deck rumors were running rampent when the crew was told to pack their seabags, leave and liberty was canxed and the yard birds started loading up massive amounts of cargo in the hanger bay and flight deck.

Don't forget that the carrier and the rest of the ships can get on station ASAP without a full "packout" and start rescue/recovery ops right away.

A supply ship can always pull along side and offload supplies.


Originally Posted By CS223:
I'm no military expert, no experience. But I had a cousin in the Navy and I know that it takes days for a ship to get it's shit together to get underway, fuel, food, water, supplies, all personell on board. For the Navy to get this much stuff moving in such short notice is nothing short of a mircle. I can just imagine the orders coming down from the President to get their asses moving now.

Folks, amid all this chaos, heros are being born by the dozens.

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:04:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
You don't know too much about Navy ships, do you.


Originally Posted By warlord:
Is this good to position so much naval assets in a hurricane region at the start of the season. Another one of those storms could be generating in the Atlantic, and could heavily damage them if they are caught in its path.




Yeah, really.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:04:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:05:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:06:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Being retired Navy I can imagine that the scuttlebutt and mess deck rumors were running rampent when the crew was told to pack their seabags, leave and liberty was canxed and the yard birds started loading up massive amounts of cargo in the hanger bay and flight deck.

Don't forget that the carrier and the rest of the ships can get on station ASAP without a full "packout" and start rescue/recovery ops right away.

A supply ship can always pull along side and offload supplies.


Originally Posted By CS223:
I'm no military expert, no experience. But I had a cousin in the Navy and I know that it takes days for a ship to get it's shit together to get underway, fuel, food, water, supplies, all personell on board. For the Navy to get this much stuff moving in such short notice is nothing short of a mircle. I can just imagine the orders coming down from the President to get their asses moving now.

Folks, amid all this chaos, heros are being born by the dozens.




My guess is that the carrier is headed down to be a refueling and C2 platfrom as well as a FOB for emergency supplies. The amphibs can bring in the supplies, but all of their resupply has to by UNREP or helo. The CVN can also take COD hits - more faster from farther away than helo resupply. COD hits would be especially useful for hi-pri items like aircraft repair parts.

Maybe some E-2Cs to play air traffic control. NORTHCOM has requested some ground ATC teams already. During the initial relief efforts in Somalia ('92), E-2Cs handled air traffic control in and out of Magadishu.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:07:46 PM EDT
Yeah COMFORT isn't sitting around fully manned like other ships. They're USNS and they're not really active at that. It'll be a while. They got to get the docs onboard and supplies and then transit.

But the BATAAN, IWO JIMA, and TRUMAN have hospital beds, and the other amphibs can provide help in the mean time.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:09:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Just heard on Fox theat USNS Comfort will take two weeks to arrive on station…



Probably right. Those ships are skeleton crewed and not stocked. The medical personnel are not permanently assigned - they are pulled from Naval Hospitals and clinics to man the ship. The 17.5 knot speed is balls to the wall - they won't run that fast. More like 12-15 knots and it's a long way around the Florida Keys.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:12:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:
My guess is that the carrier is headed down to be a refueling and C2 platfrom as well as a FOB for emergency supplies. The amphibs can bring in the supplies, but all of their resupply has to by UNREP or helo. The CVN can also take COD hits - more faster from farther away than helo resupply. COD hits would be especially useful for hi-pri items like aircraft repair parts.

Maybe some E-2Cs to play air traffic control. NORTHCOM has requested some ground ATC teams already. During the initial relief efforts in Somalia ('92), E-2Cs handled air traffic control in and out of Magadishu.


Didn't think about the ATC. That would make sense. Not much ATC to speak of right now.

Thanks for expanding my horizons.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:10:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:
Maybe some E-2Cs to play air traffic control. NORTHCOM has requested some ground ATC teams already. During the initial relief efforts in Somalia ('92), E-2Cs handled air traffic control in and out of Magadishu.



The USAF has already sent in some Combat Controllers.

AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS OPENS NEW ORLEANS AIRPORT RUNWAY

Air Force Special Operations Command will fly an MC-130 aircraft into New Orleans International Airport tonight with a small team of special operations forces to work to reopen the runway.

A team of combat controllers and a small medical team will work to establish operations at the airport, which has no electricity or air traffic control. Combat controllers are certified air traffic controllers and special operators who can open airfields deep behind enemy lines or in other hazardous areas.

The combat controllers will set self-powered lights and other navigational aids, then function as air traffic controllers with portable radios so that other military aircraft can land and help evacuate around 2,500 ill, or injured persons from the New Orleans area.

AFSOC has also flown more than 34 aircraft to Jackson, Miss., to support Hurricane Katrina relief.

The deployed aircraft include 19 HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters specifically designed to find and recover individuals in hazardous areas. AFSOC has also deployed 11 C-130 aircraft with various special mission capabilities, including helicopter refueling and the ability to operate from dirt or unimproved airfields.

AFSOC has sent pararescuemen and combat controllers to Jackson to work in conjunction with the aircraft. Pararescuemen are highly trained emergency medical technician special operators. Combat controllers and pararescuemen are accustomed to operating in the most difficult and hostile conditions and are trained in numerous special operations skills such as SCUBA and parachute operations.

Source : Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Public Affairs

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 6:32:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CS223:
I'm no military expert, no experience. But I had a cousin in the Navy and I know that it takes days for a ship to get it's shit together to get underway, fuel, food, water, supplies, all personell on board. For the Navy to get this much stuff moving in such short notice is nothing short of a mircle. I can just imagine the orders coming down from the President to get their asses moving now.

Folks, amid all this chaos, heros are being born by the dozens.



Well I've been in the Navy for 23 years (16 of it on CV/CVNs) and I'm here to tell you it takes about 12hrs to get underway. I say that because that's how long it'll take to get everyone back onboard. Fuel, food, water, supplies.... we can get that at sea.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 7:20:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Yeah COMFORT isn't sitting around fully manned like other ships. They're USNS and they're not really active at that. It'll be a while. They got to get the docs onboard and supplies and then transit.

But the BATAAN, IWO JIMA, and TRUMAN have hospital beds, and the other amphibs can provide help in the mean time.





Dumb landlubber question:


What's the "USNS" stand for?



When you say they're not really active, do you mean it's a Reserve component?
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 7:42:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:
Dumb landlubber question:
What's the "USNS" stand for?
When you say they're not really active, do you mean it's a Reserve component?





Military Sealift Command

The Military Sealift Command operates more than 110 ships around the world. These ships carry the designation "USNS" (United States Naval Ships) and are not commissioned ships. Also, they are crewed by civilians. Some MSC ships also have small military departments assigned to carry out specialized military functions such as communications and supply operations. MSC ships carry the prefix "T" before their normal hull numbers.
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ffiletop.html

Link Posted: 9/1/2005 7:43:27 PM EDT
Hospital Ships - T-AH

Description: Two hospital ships operated by Military Sealift Command are designed to provide emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or other operations.

Features:USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) each contain 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, a 1,000 bed hospital facility, digital radiological services, a diagnostic and clinical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a cat scan and two oxygen producing plants. Both vessels have a helicopter deck capable of landing large military helicopters, as well as side ports to take on patients at sea.

Background: Both hospital ships are converted San Clemente-class super tankers. Mercy was delivered in 1986 and Comfort in 1987. Normally, the ships are kept in a reduced operating status in Baltimore, Md., and San Diego, Calif., by a small crew of civilian mariners and active duty Navy medical and support personnel. Each ship can be fully activated and crewed within five days. Mercy went to the Philippines in 1987 for a humanitarian mission. Both ships were used during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Comfort twice operated during 1994 — once for Operation Sea Signal's Cuban/Haitian migrant interdiction operations, and a second time supporting U.S. forces and agencies involved in Haiti and Operation Uphold Democracy. On 12 September 2001, Comfort set sail for New York City and provided housing, laundry, food, medical and other services to volunteers and rescue personnel for nearly three weeks in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Comfort was activated again in December 2002 and sailed to the Persian Gulf to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Point of contact:
Public Affairs Office
Military Sealift Command
Washington, DC 20398-5540
(202) 685-5055 or www.msc.navy.mil

General Characteristcs: Mercy Class
Conversion: National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.
Power Plant: 2 GE turbines; two boilers; 24,500 hp (18.3MW); one shaft
Length: 894 feet (272.6 meters)
Beam: 105.6 feet (32.2 meters)
Displacement: 69,360 tons (70,473.10 metric tons) full load
Speed: 17.5 knots (20.13 mph)
Aircraft: Helicopter platform only
Ships: No homeports assigned
USNS Mercy (T-AH 19)
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)
Crew: 61 civilian mariners, 956 Naval medical staff, and 259 Naval support staff
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