Bataan Amphibious Relief Force Departs, Sails Toward Haiti

Story Number: NNS100115-04Release Date: 1/15/2010 9:43:00 AM
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From USS Bataan Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- More than 1,700 Sailors and Marines aboard ships from the Bataan Amphibious Relief Force departed Hampton Roads area Naval bases Jan. 14 en route to Haiti to assist with relief efforts following the tragic earthquake that struck the island nation Jan. 12.

Within 48 hours of receiving tasking from U.S. 2nd Fleet, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious dock landing ships USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) were underway. The ships began loading Marines, aircraft and equipment from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in less than 24 hours of their departure.

"We're moving with a sense of urgency to provide a swift and coordinated response to assist Haiti," said Capt. Thomas Negus, commander of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. "The unique capabilities of our amphibious ships can bring much-needed assistance in the multinational efforts to relieve suffering in Haiti."

The three ships typically use air cushion landing craft, conventional landing craft and helicopters for their primary mission to move Marines ashore, but their inherent capabilities and complement of assets make it ideal for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

"Disaster relief and humanitarian assistance is something we train for," said Capt. Sam Howard, Bataan's commanding officer. "We are absolutely equipped and prepared to perform the mission we've been called upon to do."

Bataan's medical capabilities are second only to U.S. Navy hospital ships and include nearly 50 medical professionals as well as X-ray facilities, a 600-bed hospital, operating rooms, an intensive care unit, pharmacy and laboratory.

Bataan was the first Navy ship on scene in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, a category four hurricane, made landfall. The ship spent 19 days supporting the relief efforts by moving more than 1,600 people to safety and delivering more than 160,000 pounds of supplies to the Gulf Coast of the United States.

In addition to Bataan, Fort McHenry and Carter Hall, the relief force includes detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Assault Craft Unit 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2. Also embarked is a maritime civil affairs team.

For more news from USS Bataan (LHD 5), visit

1/17/2010 8:40:00 PM
My son is part of this mission. God bless them all!
1/19/2010 -- Response From USS Bataan (LHD 5)
Thanks for your support.

1/17/2010 12:24:00 AM
Congratulations to all commanders, crew and troops aboard the USS Bataan for their humanitarian feelings and will to help! You all may be very proud of world´s best Navy and your country. Hope all of you may accomplish with success the proposed job in Haiti, in the same way as your mates have done in Indonesia. Be careful and return safely home after perfoming a great job! Rudy A.F. Altman
1/19/2010 -- Response From USS Bataan (LHD 5)
Thanks for the kind words, Rudy. We take great pride in being part of relief efforts. We know there are a lot of people out there providing support. Thank you all.

1/16/2010 9:24:00 PM
Every Sailor, Marine, and civilain onboard the USS Bataan is highly postive and eager to help with the disater relief and humanitarian efforts in Haiti. I have seen nothing but high spirits and teamwork so far from this blue/green team especially sice coming off a 7 month deployment and only spending so little time with our loved ones at home, but when duty calls we do not hesitate on the world stage and will complete our mission with honor, courage, and commitment.
1/19/2010 -- Response From USS Bataan (LHD 5)
This is truly the feeling aboard Bataan. We're prepared to provide relief to the people of Haiti for as long as it's necessary.

1/16/2010 6:47:00 PM
This is the news I have been waiting for. To paraphrase WWII message, Where are The Marines? has been on my mind. I knew they would be on the way, but it was not talked about. This group is going to make the single biggest impact due to its capabilities in personal and the equipment to get in directly into Port-au-Prince. Thank you to the women and men who serve.
1/19/2010 -- Response From USS Bataan (LHD 5)
Bataan along with embarked Marines from the 22nd MEU arrived in the vicinity of Port Au Prince yesterday afternoon. They will immediately begin putting their capabilities to use for the people of Haiti.

1/15/2010 1:19:00 PM
Our son is a deisel mechanic for the beachmasters unit 2 team 1. He was sent to haiti along with so many other of our armed forces. We just want to say how proud of them and our country and all the other countries whom have vowed to help. It definitly reaferms our beleif in the good will that the united states has for our neigbors. GO USA
1/19/2010 -- Response From USS Bataan (LHD 5)
The crew thanks you for your support and will work hard to provide relief to the people of Haiti. Everyone is proud to be a part of this mission.

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USS Bataan (LHD 5) departs Naval Station Norfolk to provide humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
100114-N-6764G-025 NORFOLK (Jan. 14, 2010) The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) departs Naval Station Norfolk to provide humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Goodwin/Released)
January 15, 2010
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