ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At sea (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (ALCSG) spent hours Jan. 5 moving boxes of fresh water, protein drinks and bags of rice from trucks to helicopters bound from Banda Aceh, Indonesia to various locations.
Relying on effective communication, the helicopters of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 2 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 47 were present to pick up and transport the supplies.
"Communication is the key to organization," said Mineman 2nd Class (EOD) John Richards, a native of San Diego, from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, Det.1. "Because you have to have good communication between ship and shore so that you can orchestrate all the supplies, helos and supplies to the crew. You need to make sure it's going to the right place at the right time."
Richards plays an important role in communications, referring to his EOD Satellite radio training.
"A lot of the time, I just make sure [there's] a good connection," said Richards. "All I'm doing is maintaining the line of communication. I tried 28 different places to get a good link. This area, for some reason, is really bad to hook up. We're doing the best we can. That's my job -- maintaining the link."
While ALCSG was on its way to the Indian Ocean to support the humanitarian operations in Indonesia, Lincoln's Portable Communications Shop spent time refurbishing radios to go ashore.
"Our radio sends an encrypted message to a satellite," explained Richards. "Which then sends the message to the Lincoln."
Even though Richards and his crew know how to operate the equipment, it's been a learning experience as well.
"The lesson we've been learning here is getting guys off the ship trained," said Richards. "Anyone traveling should have the proper gear and a working knowledge of the radios."
With the ALCSG keeping the communications up and running, the supplies, helicopters and crew can keep working to supply the people of Sumatra with the supplies they need
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