ABOARD USS CARTER HALL, Caribbean Sea (NNS) -- USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) arrived off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 18 to support Operation Unified Response, a joint military relief effort for victims of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation Jan. 12.
The Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship departed its homeport in Little Creek, Va., Jan. 14, just 36 hours after receiving deployment orders. After getting underway, the ship embarked Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 and Sailors from Beach Master Unit 2. The ship pulled pierside in Morehead City, N.C. Jan. 15 and on-loaded Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit along with supplies and heavy equipment for the humanitarian relief efforts.
The more than 600 Sailors, Marines and Seabees bring a variety of capabilities that are beneficial to improving conditions on the ground - this includes debris clearing, water making and storage, and the ability to provide electrical power.
"It's time to get to work," said Commanding Officer Cmdr. George Doyon. "Get ready to launch helos and LCUs (landing craft units), put boats in the water, transport personnel and equipment to and from the beach - whatever we have to do to improve the situation for the Haitian people."
Doyon said he is proud of the way his crew has responded in getting the ship on station and they are ready to show the world the spirit of the U.S. Navy.
"This is a unique opportunity," he said. "Our Sailors are anxious to get out there and come to the aid of our neighbors and to show that the U.S. Navy is not just a war machine. We are a machine of compassion, peace and partnership."
USS Carter Hall is part of an amphibious ready group which includes USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43).
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacennorfolk/.