Thursday, January 06, 2005

U.S. Navy Disaster Relief Operations

Thanks to Interested-Participant for this quote of an e-mail (originally at Michelle Malkin) from Master Chief Fire Control Technician David Kirk, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN 72 (click photo to enlarge), one of a crew of over 5,000:

You should see this mess. We are sailing 3 miles off the coast in a field of floating debris. Roofs, trees, dressers, millions of coconuts and so many dead bodies in the water all around us. We creep thru the water as to not stir them up too bad. They are bleached white, bloated, faces have no expressions..... They secured the weather decks to shield the crew from the visual trauma. We retrieve Helicopters every night and head for deeper water and kick up speed to make sure nothing is stuck in our intakes.

In the morning, we go back in and launch the Helicopters and refuel them at regular periods. We have Shore parties of 100 volunteers a day. 1,300 volunteered but they expect to only use 300 and just rotate them around because of the pills and various shots required. Basically, we deployed with double the number of Helicopters just because. Turns out it was a good call. We use 12 Helicopters daily.

They fly the Shore detail to the airport in the morning. The working party unloads the cargo from the relief planes, load that cargo onto the Helo's and they fly the stuff to villages and outer most areas needing help. Work all day and everybody returns at night. The village we are sailing near had 50,000 residents of which only 1,000 are left. All the roads were washed out so our Helo's are the only way in. Dan Rather flew onboard and stayed the night. It's good to have a mission. Adds purpose to being away from home.


Blogger Ms. Lori said...

I don't envy their mission, Tom. As saddened and horrified by the disaster as I am, as much as I want to help, I doubt I could stand to witness it up close and personal. Would kill me, I think.

8:21 AM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger Emperor Joe said...

God Bless them. No one knows untill you go there. I wish there was more I could do. But just putting money in the jar here at work is the best I can do. God bless everybody over there.

9:12 AM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

I echo Joe's sentiments wholeheartedly.

9:53 AM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger RomanWanderer said...

Thanks for posting that

1:09 PM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger chunu said...

Great descriptive email, great job they are doing over there, great mission, tragic but the job they are doing over there is the best of humanity...

3:35 AM, January 08, 2005  

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