Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, directed the activation of the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) Nov. 13 to be ready to support ongoing disaster relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
As U.S. Navy assets steam towards the Philippines to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, Navy hydrographers are busy charting safe passages through potential navigation hazards created by the receding storm surge.
The USS George Washington is delivering water, medical supplies and hygienic supplies to Guiuan/Samar, Ormoc, Borongan and Leyte Gulf. 20 US Navy helicopters have been in continuous operation since yesterday.
Chaplain Lt. Brian Kirschenbaum, of Carrier Air Wing Five, assisted aircrews in the Guiuan area with the loading and unloading of supplies and interacted with local citizens who were in need of food and shelter.