28 ships were ready to get underway within 24 hours.BTW, those who think that the response nation wide/federal/state/local was “not fast enough” are grandstanding idiots that have little knowledge of the history of major disasters. You cannot predict hurricanes like the rise and fall of the moon. 50 years ago it would be considered a miracle that so much has showed up so fast.
Bataan (a helicopter carrier) and HSV (High Speed Vessel) 2 Swift, out of Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, are off the affected coastline providing support. Four MH-53s (huge helos capable of moving 40-50 troops) and two HH-60s (capable of moving about 20 troops) off the Bataan are flying medevac and search and rescue (SAR) missions in Louisiana, and supporting the Coast Guard's 8th District. Bataan's hospital and staff has been augmented by an additional contingent from the Navy's Bureau of Medicine (BUMED), consisting of 85 personnel, including 12 physicians and 4 surgeons.
The Iwo Jima (large helo carrier) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) is sailing from Norfolk, Va. loaded with disaster-response equipment. The USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8 - an oiler, ammunition and stores (as in refrigerated stores)) is currently off the Gulf Coast. USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) (large helo carrier), USS Shreveport (LPD 12) (large helo capable troop transport ship), and USS Tortuga (LSD 46) (large, helo capable troop transport ship) are expected soon. A medical staff augmentation for Iwo Jima is expected to be en route tomorrow.
The hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), is departing Baltimore by September 3 to bring some 270 medical staff, capable of supporting 250 hospital beds, to the Gulf region. Project Hope has offered to embark additional medical personnel, and the Air Force's Surgeon General has offered to provide still further staff if needed.
USS Harry S. Truman (aircraft carrier) (CVN 75) and USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) (same as Tortuga above) are sailing today for areas off the Gulf Coast in support to FEMA relief operations. Truman will serve as a command center and an afloat staging base, and will carry additional helicopters from Naval Air Station Jacksonville to support search and rescue efforts. Whidbey Island will bring to the region the ability to employ a movable causeway.
USS Grapple (ARS 53) (salvage ship) is currently en route in order to assist with maritime and underwater survey and salvage operations.
Military Sealift Command has transferred control of five of its ships to the Navy's Second Fleet to provide further support to relief efforts. USNS Bellatrix, Altair, Pillilau, Bob Hope, and Argol are in the Gulf of Mexico already (all capable of carrying lots of food stuffs, and supplies). USNS Arctic is also at sea in the Gulf and acting as a FEMA support ship and providing logistics services support for the other ships at sea.
Navy helicopters from Jacksonville and Mayport, Fla., are supporting relief efforts, and Navy Seabees from Port Hueneme, Jacksonville, and Norfolk are on scene or making preparations to deploy to assist in relief operations.
USNS Pollux is operating onboard dialysis equipment for the patients of a local hospital, providing diesel fuel for area hospitals' generators, and providing meals and berthing to relief workers.
This is a CAT 5, not CAT 3, hit on a major city (actually, Miss. was hit worse – but smaller cities); something not seen in this country in living memory.
Also, as a side note, there is a lot of personal responsibility here that needs to be talked about. I grew up with hurricanes. I know what you are supposed to do and what you are supposed to keep. You need to look out for those that can’t evacuate the flood zone, and the unlucky few – but if you are in extremis due to your own poor decisions - you don’t get much sympathy. Pity perhaps – but don’t demand 4-star service and head of line privileges. The truly needy should go first for help: looters should be shot by the lootees.
If you rely on gov’munt to be your Nanny, sit down and shut up.
This is going to be something on line with rebuilding San Francisco after the fire. Lots of $$$, lots of time.
Gov. Barbour for President. (yes, I am pissed at some of the coverage).