YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) began providing logistical support Jan. 1 to disaster victims in the Indonesian province of Aceh for the first time since earthquakes and tsunamis ravaged Southern Asia Dec. 26.
A U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman said the Navy is determined to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the recent natural disaster, and that forward deployed units of the U.S. 7th Fleet train for humanitarian assistance missions to rapidly respond to support relief efforts.
"For the first time in this tragic situation, six SH-60F Seahawk helicopters from Lincoln are actively ferrying food and medical supplies from collection points in the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh to affected locations in Indonesia," said Lt. Cmdr. John Daniels, USS Abraham Lincoln CSG public affairs officer. "Additionally, these helicopters will take injured and otherwise affected people back to Banda Aceh, where they will receive necessary medical and humanitarian attention."
U.S. Navy officials expect additional naval support in the area within seven to ten days. In addition to Lincoln CSG ships already in the area, including USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USNS Ranier (T-AOE 7), the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)will provide aid to the region along with elements from its expeditionary strike group, including USS Duluth (LPD 6), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Rushmore (LSD 47), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Thach (FFG 43), and USCGC Munro (WHEC 724).
In addition, six U.S. maritime pre-positioning ships - large cargo ships loaded with stocks of food, fresh water and other relief supplies - from Guam and Korea will enter the region and begin contributing their resources to the humanitarian effort. The ships are laden with enough equipment and supplies to support 15,000 Marines for one month. They are equipped with water purification machines and evaporators capable of producing more than 100,000 gallons of potable water per day and pumping it to shore from up to two miles away, road-making supplies, electrical power generators and a host of other emergency supplies and equipment.
The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit No. 6 from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is set to join the humanitarian effort in Southern Asia Jan. 2 by sending 43 medical professionals into the area to administer a range of medical assistance, including disease assessment and treatment, water-quality and food-quality testing, mosquito and insect assessment, and chemical analysis.
U.S. Navy officials said the 7th Fleet is proud to be the first to provide U.S. naval logistical support to the tsunami victims of Indonesia, and has pledged continued support to humanitarian relief efforts in Southern Asia with additional naval assets to enter the region soon.
For related news on Navy tsunami relief operations, visit the Focus on Tsunami Relief Operations page at www.navy.mil/local/tsunami.
For related news, visit the U.S. Pacific Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cpf.