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Ships Deploy to Support Georgia Humanitarian Assistance Mission

American Forces Press Service

NAPLES, Italy, Aug. 21, 2008 – Two Navy ships and a Coast Guard cutter are transporting humanitarian relief supplies to Georgia.

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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Weaver and Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Smith prepare humanitarian aid supplies for loading aboard USS McFaul at Souda Bay, Crete, Aug. 20, 2008. Nearly 55 tons of supplies were loaded as part of the humanitarian assistance for the Georgia following the conflict between Russian and Georgian forces in the former Soviet republic. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eddie Harrison
  

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These deployments are part of the larger United States response to the government of Georgia request for humanitarian assistance, U.S. 6th Fleet officials said.

USS McFaul departed from Souda Bay, Crete, yesterday, and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas will leave later this week. McFaul and Dallas are scheduled to transit into the Black Sea and arrive in Georgia within a week.

The crew of the USS Mount Whitney is loading humanitarian relief materials in the ship’s homeport of Gaeta, Italy, and will proceed to Georgia later this month, officials said.

The ships will deliver thousands of blankets, hygiene kits, baby food and infant-care supplies to save lives and alleviate human suffering, officials said.

These surface ships represent the first from the United States to participate in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Georgia. Both McFaul, based in Norfolk, Va., and Dallas, based in Charleston, S.C., are on regularly scheduled deployments in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

(From a U.S. Naval Forces Europe/U.S. 6th Fleet news release.)

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U.S. Naval Forces Europe/U.S. 6th Fleet

Click photo for screen-resolution imageAble Seaman Frank Santana, a Military Sealift Command civilian stationed on USS Mount Whitney, moves pallets of humanitarian relief supplies aboard the ship at Gaeta, Italy, Aug. 19, 2008. Mount Whitney is taking part in the larger United States response to the government of Georgia request for humanitarian assistance. The ship will deliver thousands of blankets, hygiene products, baby food and infant care supplies. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rosa Larson  
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