ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 have been answering the call for volunteers to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, since the ship arrived on station in the Indian Ocean Jan. 1 in support of Operation Unified Assistance.
Crew members ensure that vital food, water and medicine supplies are ferried to the survivors of the devastating tsunami that struck the Aceh province on the island of Sumatra Dec. 26.
"It gives you a sense of doing the right thing," explained Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW) Dallas Smith. "I saw what it (tsunami damage) looked like, and it gives me a good feeling in my heart knowing I'm doing something good for someone else."
The Sailors catch the morning's helicopters to Sultan Iskandar Muda Air Force Base in Banda Aceh, the logistics hub for relief efforts in northern Indonesia. There, they unload trucks and airplanes full of aid supplies, such as food and medicine, and then load it all back into the helicopters of CVW-2 for delivery to towns and villages isolated by the destructive wave.
According to Machinist's Mate 1st Class William Gregory, of Redding, Calif., helping out just feels right.
"It makes me feel like I did something good for my country and for this country," said Gregory.
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of the cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), both homeported in San Diego. Other ships include Everett, Wash.-based destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), and Bremerton, Wash.-based fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7).
Abraham Lincoln is the flagship for the strike group commander, Rear Adm. Doug Crowder, commander, Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. Abraham Lincoln is also home to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 9, commanded by Capt. Jon W. Kaufman, and Commander, Carrier Air Wing 2, commanded by Capt. Lawrence D. Burt.
Capt. Kendall L. Card, of Fort Stockton, Texas, commands Abraham Lincoln at the center of the strike group.
For related news on Navy tsunami relief operations, visit the Focus on Tsunami Relief Operations page at www.navy.mil/local/tsunami.
For more news from around the fleet, visit the Navy NewsStand at www.news.navy.mil.