USS CARTER HALL, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) continues its operations delivering humanitarian aid, medical, and logistic support for earthquake victims in Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response.
"The U.S. Navy is truly a 'global force for good' and that's what is being exhibited every day out here by the Sailors aboard USS Carter Hall," said Cmdr. George Doyon, commanding officer of USS Carter Hall. "These Sailors are committed to helping the Haitian people whether by loading supplies on LCUs at sea, going ashore handing out food and water or just talking with the people and letting them know that they are cared for. It's inspiring to see what these Sailors are doing."
Carter Hall returned to Haiti Jan. 25, after 24 hours at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay to on-load more than 1,100 pallets of water and food rations; and an additional 6,000 cots and 326 tents. Following this resupply period, the ship resumed conducting amphibious operations to get the aid to those in need.
The ship coordinated with landing craft units (LCUs) from Assault Craft Unit 2 to safely off-load all of the pallets, cots and tents in less than 72 hours. Loads were delivered to the LCUs primarily by 4K and 6K forklifts. This required long hours for many Sailors.
"We've been working mostly 14-16 hour work days," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Cory McManues, a forklift driver aboard Carter Hall. "It's been very taxing, but if it weren't for us, we wouldn't be able to get the supplies off the ship. [The Haitian people] need the help and we have the ability to give it to them."
The operation continues after the supply offload. Sailors are also going into Haiti on a daily basis. More than 30 volunteers and medical personnel transit inland daily to lend a hand to the Haitian people.
Beach survey teams tour the surrounding towns to find where the most help is needed. Participating Sailors have been assisting with clean up efforts: removing rubble and clearing out crumbled buildings. The entire crew has been asking "what can I do to help."
"It feels good to be a part of something that's helping so many people." said Fire Controlman Seaman Rabon Ragan, "There is only so much we can do, but I'm glad we're out here doing something."
The days are long and hot aboard ship and ashore and the evolutions are demanding.
"When you go ashore and see the looks on the kids' faces when you give them some food or give them water, it makes you want to keep going back," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Xavier Jones.
"Most of them don't speak English, but they know how to say 'Thank you,'" said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Chris Rickerby. "They really appreciate what we're doing and that brightens up my day. That's motivation for me."
Carter Hall is part of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission. The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) is on station in Haiti with the amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), and Carter Hall supporting Operation Unified Response, a joint humanitarian assistance mission to Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude that devastated the island country.
For more news about relief efforts in Haiti, visit http://www.navy.mil/haiti/index.html.
For more news from USS Carter Hall, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lsd50/.