Military News

Monday, August 29, 2011

Second Fleet Ships Prepared to Provide Assistance Following Irene

Emergency relief operations by the military happen more often than you think.  Check out these Navy and Coast Guard books.

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

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Units from Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet stand able and ready Aug. 27 to support emergency response from the sea and land if requested in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Twenty-seven ships got underway from Hamptons Roads, Va., area Aug. 25 and rendezvoused with 11 other units already underway to avoid storm damage and maintain fleet readiness.

The ships have safely moved around the storm and are now coming in behind it, prepared to provide any requested support.

"Our ships have safely maneuvered out of the way of Hurricane Irene, to avoid the destructive winds and seas," said Vice Adm. Daniel Holloway, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "We are now in position to respond if called upon to meet emergent needs and provide support to efforts along the east coast of the United States with a variety of capabilities from the sea including search and rescue, medical support and aviation lift."

USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), USS New York (LPD 21), USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and USS Ponce (LPD 15) are available to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard with search and rescue efforts and medical evacuation if requested.

Wasp and other amphibious and support ships have helicopters available that can provide heavy and medium lift from a sea based staging area, provide surface/air ship-to-shore movement, search and rescue and trauma response capabilities and are ready to render assistance if called upon.

Navy P-3 Orion aircraft are poised to provide full motion video capability after Hurricane Irene passes in order to provide the government the ability to see what ground conditions are like in the aftermath of the storm.

Additional heavy and medium lift helicopters are being made available to support from the land as well. Other units are making preparations to support if required and include: a mobile dive salvage unit, a naval mobile construction battalion air detachment, an underwater construction team and an expeditionary command element naval mobile construction battalion.

Navy personnel and their families should use the Navy Family and Accountability and Assessment System, http://go.usa.gov/kQ4, call their command or call the Navy Personnel Command Emergency Coordination Center, (877) 414-5358, to muster with their respective commands.

A variety of information is available in support of family readiness during hurricane season including:

- State of Virginia Emergency Management, http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia, which has many resources for planning and preparing emergency kits, developing evacuation plans and addressing specific special needs for children, the elderly and others.
- Virginia Department of Transportation Hurricane Evacuation Guide, http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_defauLT.asp, which provides more detailed information for preparing for a hurricane, hurricane evacuation and public shelters in Virginia.

- Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness Guide, http://www.preparehr.org/documents/RedCrossReadyHurricaneGuide2pg.pdf, which provides general overview of tips and guidelines for hurricane preparedness.

- Prepare Hampton Roads website, http://www.preparehr.org, which provides valuable tips for preparing for high winds and evacuation.

- Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready America Hurricane webpage, http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html, which has various information including about returning to your home following a disaster.

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