Kearsarge Crews Continue Aid Mission While Ship Departs for Provisions
American Forces Press Service
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Sep. 17, 2008 Helicopter and landing craft crews from USS Kearsarge will continue their support of U.S. Agency for International Development-led assistance to storm victims in Haiti as their ship departs tomorrow for a resupply visit to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The ship will visit the naval station to obtain stores, fuel, and other supplies needed to continue supporting U.S. disaster relief operations in Hispaniola.
To date, helicopters and landing craft embarked aboard Kearsarge have delivered over 870 metric tons of relief supplies, including 24,800 gallons of water to devastated communities isolated by damaged roads and bridges.
Three CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and three landing craft will remain in Haiti supporting USAID and other organizations with the delivery of crucial aid to victims in need of immediate assistance throughout the country while Kearsarge is being resupplied.
"Kearsarge has been operating at the highest capacity possible to distribute vital relief supplies to those affected by the storms, since we arrived on Sept. 8," said Navy Capt. Fernandez "Frank" Ponds, commander of the U.S. military relief effort in Haiti. "Kearsarge will return immediately after the onload and refueling are complete.
"Because we are working in close cooperation with the government of Haiti and other [nongovernmental organizations],” he continued, “we will not miss a beat in this key mission."
(From a U.S. Southern Command News Release).