MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (NNS) -- The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) began onloading approximately 1,700 personnel and their equipment aboard the ships of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission Jan. 15 to aid the people of Haiti following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
The ships of the relief mission and the 22nd MEU were mobilized and ready to depart their home bases within 48 hours of being notified, and the onload which normally takes two days is being compressed into 16 hours.
The MEU along with the contingent of ships, which include USS Bataan (LHD 5); USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), will bring much needed assets to the Caribbean country to support the disaster relief efforts.
"We're here to perform a mission to help out the affected people in Haiti," said Marine Corps Capt. John Bradley, Bataan's combat cargo officer. "We'll be bringing food, water, blankets and medical supplies, along with doctors, linguists and personnel to provide security."
Equipment being onloaded includes vehicles that will provide heavy-lift capabilities and aid in the clearing of rubble and debris.
"Construction equipment is going to be brought in to assist in earth moving, and possibly to help search for those still trapped out there," said Bradley.
The training the amphibious ships along and the 22nd MEU have completed will help prepare them for any task that's handed down to them.
Bataan was the first Navy ship on-scene in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, a category-4 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, Carter Hall and Fort McHenry, the relief mission includes detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron 15, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Assault Craft Unit 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2.
For more news from USS Bataan, visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd5/.