WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Twelve ships from the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command will support the United States' relief effort for victims of the tsunami that devastated South Asia Dec. 26.
Six of the 12 ships are Maritime Prepositioning Ships -- MV lst Lt. Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011), SS Maj. Stephen W. Pless (T-AK 3007), MV Cpl. Louis J. Hauge Jr. (T-AK 3000), MV Pfc. James Anderson Jr.(T-AK 3002), MV 1st Lt. Alex Bonnyman (T-AK 3002) and USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin (T-AK 3015). These ships, part of Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron 3, are collectively laden with enough equipment and supplies to support 15,000 Marines for 30 days. In addition to expeditionary Marine Corps combat equipment, the ships carry food, fuel, medical supplies, construction and road building equipment, electrical power generating equipment, airfield matting and a Navy field hospital.
The squadron also has 43 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units, each of which is capable of producing 600 gallons of potable water per hour from sea water. Five of the ships are also capable of making 25,000 gallons of fresh water a day using the ships' evaporators. The ships can pump water from ship to shore from up to two miles away using an Amphibious Bulk Liquid Transfer System of floating hoses.
Two MSC fleet replenishment oilers -- USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) and USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) -- have been diverted to provide fuel to U.S. Navy ships in the tsunami relief area. Additionally, two other supply ships -- combat stores ship USNS San Jose (T-ASF 7) and fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) -- are underway providing fuel and other supplies to Navy ships in the area and to activities ashore as needed.
Lastly, two MSC oceanographic ships have been ordered into the affected area to conduct hydrographic surveys of the ocean bottom where the 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred. USNS Mary Sears (T-AGS 65) and USNS John McDonnell (T-AGS 51) will sail from Sasebo, Japan, early next week.
MSC operates more than 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish Navy ships at sea, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move 95 percent of military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.
For related news on Navy tsunami relief operations, visit the Focus on Tsunami Relief Operations page at www.navy.mil/local/tsunami.
For more news from around the fleet, visit the Navy NewsStand at www.news.navy.mil.