YOKOSUKA, Japan – As USS George Washington and escort ships make their way to the Philippine waters and begin to assist in disaster relief efforts at the request of the Philippine government, the public affairs team here at Seventh Fleet intends to provide daily updates on ship and aircraft operations.
Here is today’s update for Operation Damayan:
Current ships on station are the USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) with 2 helos and an HA/DR kit, USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) with water making capability and mechanical/electrical repair and diving capabilities, USS Bowditch (T-AGS 62), USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USNS Yukon (T-AO 202).
Two P-3 aircraft continue to survey the affected area to assist Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. planners with their response. We expect a third P-3 to arrive today.
The USS George Washington (CVN 73) and her strike group are now arriving and expected to be on station this evening.
USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4) is expected to arrive the morning of the 15th. Byrd has 2 helos and an HA/DR kit.
The USS Ashland (LSD 48) is underway from Sasebo, Japan. They will pick up supplies and Marines in Okinawa in approximately 24 hours before heading to the Philippines.
The USS Germantown (LSD 42) expects to get underway at 1300I today from Sasebo, Japan. They will pick up supplies and Marines in Okinawa in approximately 24 hours before heading to the Philippines.
Note* HA/DR Kits are comprised of items that would be needed immediately in times of disaster and could not wait for normal logistical support channels to fill requirements. Support assumptions are 2500 survivors with 500 casualties for 3 days duration. Kits include items such as include items such as water purification kits, blankets, insect/sun repellent and medical supplies.
The following interviews are available upon request depending on time and availability: P-3 Flight Mission Commander from Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Eleven while underway, USS George Washington personnel and Seventh Fleet Public Affairs.