NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) are making preparations to get underway Sept. 1 for areas off the U.S. Gulf Coast in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief operations associated with Hurricane Katrina.
Truman will serve as the command center and afloat staging base, and will carry additional helicopters from Naval Air Station Jacksonville to support search and rescue (SAR) efforts. Whidbey Island will bring with it the capability to employ a movable causeway to the region.
The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is a collaborative effort. The Navy is working to meet local and state requirements forwarded to the U.S. Northern Command through the Department of Defense from state governors and FEMA federal coordinators.
Truman and Whidbey Island will join five other Norfolk-based ships that are already at sea and will remain on station for as long as necessary to provide important humanitarian assistance to the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Katrina.
Additionally, USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), based at Naval Station Earl, N.J., is en-route and arrived in the Gulf Coast operating area Aug. 31.
For more Navy information related to Hurricane Katrina, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/hurricane.