NORFOLK, VA (NNS) -- Navy commanders have ordered a multitude of capabilities and assets to be prepared to deploy in the event the Navy is directed to provide assistance to civilian authorities after Hurricane Gustav came ashore Sept. 1.
Identified forces include Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12) staff, Amphibious Squadron 2 (PHIBRON 2) staff, as well as three amphibious ships -- the amphibious assault ships USS Bataan (LHD 5) and USS Nassau (LHA 4), and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ponce (LPD 15). Two P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, 24 medium and heavy lift helicopters, a mobile dive and salvage unit detachment, an underwater construction team detachment, two naval mobile construction battalion(NMCB) air detachments and a fleet survey team have also been identified.
"We're trying to be proactive, taking every step to ensure our Navy's maritime capabilities are best positioned to quickly respond to support coordinating government agencies," said Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, Deputy Chief of Staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The efforts are the Navy's role in the Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) mission. DSCA is a term used to describe Department of Defense support, to include federal military forces, as well as DoD agency and military forces, for domestic emergencies and for designated law enforcement and other activities.
"Our Sailors are incredibly committed to supporting potential Gustav recovery efforts. Many of them have relatives and friends living in areas hit by Gustav," Buzby added.
Identified Navy forces can tailor their capabilities to support specific mission requirements, but current capabilities include: conducting extensive search and rescues, evacuations and providing medical assistance.
The forces will remain at an increased state of readiness until commanders determine the recovery efforts are under control and Navy assets are no longer needed.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf.