Mustin Supports Operation Damayan 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mackenzie P. Adams, USS Mustin Public Affairs  
ORMAC CITY, Republic of the Philippines - U.S. Navy Sailors along with the Philippine government and non-government organizations provided aid and supplies to 18 villages throughout the area.

Mustin began meeting with the Philippine government Nov. 14 to find out what areas were the most impacted by this natural disaster.

"Throughout this entire operation with the Philippine government we have made it our focus to get supplies and aid to the citizens that need it the most," said Cmdr. Joseph Ring, commanding officer of Mustin. "I am humbled to be able to work with the Philippine Army to accomplish the task of helping any way that we can and saving people's lives."

Once the Sailors and the Philippine Army had a plan in place they, along with non-governmental organizations began implementing the plan and transporting supplies to remote villages that were unable to receive aid.

One of the villages most affected by super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was Mahayag, which was unable to receive any type of aid or supplies until Mustin began transporting non-governmental organization's supplies to them via helicopter. On Nov. 16, Mustin Sailors began loading supplies onto a MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from the "Warlords" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 to transport goods to villages like Mahayag.

For some of the Sailors, like Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician Eustaquia Mauhay seeing the destruction and devastation that occurred in Ormoc City hit close to home.

"As a Filipino-American Sailor it makes me very proud to be able to come here to my country and impact these peoples' lives so positively," said Mauhay. "It is such an honor to be here saving peoples' lives and providing relief to the people that have had to go through this terrible tragedy. I'm very happy and excited that Mustin was given this task because I know that this ship and this crew has made a difference."

On Nov. 17, Mustin was joined by the dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) and the Island Knights Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25.

Along with transporting aid and supplies, Sailors have been working long days in Ormoc City, providing various means of aid to the Philippine Army soldiers and their families.

"I am very proud to serve with the selfless Sailors of USS Mustin during this time," said Ring. "They all came together in a way that enabled so many lives to be saved, and this is truly a once in a life time experience. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Filipino government for allowing us to help in this time of crisis."

Mustin is with the George Washington Strike group supporting Joint Task Force 505 to assist the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

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