ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN (NNS) -- The U.S. ambassador to the Philippines visited the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) on June 29.
Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney joined by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano, came aboard to receive a briefing on the continuing effort to assist victims of Typhoon Fengshen, and to thank Sailors for their support of AFP-led humanitarian efforts on the island of Panay.
"One of the things that makes us a great nation is the ability to deliver compassionate service," Kenney said. "The Sailors of the Ronald Reagan and the entire carrier group are doing a great job. It makes me very proud," she added.
Kenney and Yano visited Ronald Reagan's Crisis Action Team coordination center, where they listened to briefings about the planning and coordination of the humanitarian mission. Among the crew members they personally thanked were helicopter pilots, aircrewmen and supply personnel.
Kenney also thanked Chief Warrant Officer 3 Zosimo Francisco, who led a four-man team of Ronald Reagan engineers into Iloilo City to repair hospital generators damaged by the floods. After bringing a mud-damaged fuel pump aboard the ship for repair, the team returned to Iloilo City's Barotac Viejo Hospital and restored electrical power.
The hospital had been without power for days since flood waters struck.
"I'm proud of what we did for the people of Iloilo," Francisco said. "It's very gratifying. We saw firsthand the effects of the typhoon, the devastation. We met people who were suffering greatly, but they still managed to wave and smile."
Since arriving on station June 25, fixed-wing cargo aircraft and helicopters from the Ronald Reagan carrier group have flown 244 sorties in support of the AFP, delivering relief supplies to areas most affected by the typhoon.
Ronald Reagan provided more than 28,000 bottles of water, 9,060 pounds of rice, other non-perishable food items, and medical supplies. With potable water in very high demand in the area, the stores ship USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3) arrived June 29 off the northern coast of Panay loaded with fresh water for delivery. The ship's embarked Puma helicopter detachment, with the assistance of an HH-60H Seahawk from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4, delivered 168,000 bottles of water to the city of Kalibo in just four hours.
"The Filipino people appreciate what the United States has done during these trying times," said Yano. "It only goes to show the longstanding friendship and camaraderie between our armed forces. We appreciate very much what the United States is doing."
For more news from USS Ronald Reagan, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.