JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) stopped at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., for some much needed liberty Feb. 6 on their way home from relief efforts in Haiti.
Capt. Bruce Lindsey, commanding officer of Carl Vinson, said many members of his crew had never been to sea before and this was one of the best ways for them to get their start.
"Humanitarian assistance is one of the Navy's primary missions so if you have to start somewhere, this mission was the best," said Lindsey. "Coming out of the yards straight into a mission where the crew knew there was a reason for their underway and knowing that it was something that would impact so many lives in such a positive way, I believe they will take the experience with them throughout their lives and careers."
Lindsey said the crew really accomplished a lot during their time in Haiti.
"The helo guys flew 2,226 helicopter sorties, made 1,783 food drops, including 89,000 gallons of water and almost 40,000 pounds of medical supplies. We also did 476 MEDEVACs (medical evacuations)," Lindsey said.
Carl Vinson operated about 3 to 5 miles off the coast of Haiti and sent hundreds of crew members ashore to deliver food, water and medical supplies. The ship also delivered over one-million pounds of medical aid during their days assisting Haiti and, according to Lindsey, his crew has earned their down time.
"My Sailors have earned their liberty, we have been underway for 24 days and to many Sailors that seems like nothing, but my crew has never been underway for longer than 12 days and they worked very hard and I am happy to give them their well deserved break," said Lindsey.
Carl Vinson will resume security cooperation activities with partner navies in the region while transiting to its homeport in San Diego.
Carl Vinson was conducting routine training off the coast of the United States when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti. On virtually no notice, the U.S. Navy dispatched the carrier and its support ships to the scene. The carrier embarked additional helicopters and humanitarian relief supplies while transiting south along the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.