NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) brought their gear on board USS Bataan (LHD 5) Jan. 13, in preparation for their deployment to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake which struck southern Haiti Jan. 12.
A nine-man Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT), from Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training (MCAST) Command, will be on hand to assist theater commanders with engagement and security, as well as to establish relations between governmental and non-governmental organizations and the civilian populace.
"We are deploying an experienced Maritime Civil Affairs Planner and MCAT team to support the needs of the Haitian people," said MCAST Commodore Capt. Claudia Risner. "MCAST is able to address a unique need in planning and conducting maritime security operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."
The team includes a French speaking Sailor who has deployed to Haiti before and a native Haitian who is familiar with the area. The team members' cultural awareness and experience is a key element in their ability to quickly relate to the local people and to help alleviate suffering.
The expeditionary character of NECC forces uniquely positions them to quickly support out nation's response to the tragedy in Haiti. NECC forces support the Maritime Strategy with the agility and flexibility needed to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the Haitian people.
For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/necc/.