Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 15, 2010

US Navy Assists Haitian Earthquake Victims

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) deployed today to Haiti to provide Humanitarian Assistance in the face of the

Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Robert Mikeska prepares a Haitian girl for flight aboard a Sea Hawk helicopter after her surgery aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission to Latin America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Bryan G. Stevens/Released)

devastating earthquakes that struck the tiny Caribbean island. Along with Vinson, Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU 22), and the USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) and the USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) are preparing to join the Carl Vinson. Additionally, various units are prepared to provide assistance with sea-based helicopters, to include H-53 Sea Stallions and H-60 Seahawks.

Joining them are a team of  U.S. military engineers, operational planners, a command and control group and communication specialists, who will arrive in Haiti Jan. 13 to assess the situation and facilitate follow-on U.S. military support.

Already, the US Navy Hospital ship, USNS Comfort, has delivered more than one million dollars’ worth of donations from non-governmental organizations to  Haiti. It included more than 350 pallets of charitable goods to the mission in Haiti, including 25 tons of medical supplies, wheelchairs, fire prevention kits, school supplies, food, toys, hygiene kits and orphanage aid kits.

USNS Comfort had been in Haiti providing medical assistance as recently as April, 2009, as part of a four-month humanitarian mission called Continuing Promise. From the moment the Comfort medical staff opened its doors, they were deluged with patients.

“There was like a sea of people at the gates in the morning,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jodi Snider, who works in surgical administration.

Capt. Dominik Rudecki, a dentist in the Canadian Army, said team members were doing everything they could to see as many Haitians as possible.

“They were very grateful to us for the smallest things that we back at home take for granted,” Rudecki said. “A lot of these people have never seen a dentist and are seeing one for the first time now. They are happy to be here, and it feels good to help them.”

Many of the patients traveled a long way to see doctors, some with serious injuries; others for routine check-ups.

Hats off to the Navy, with another example of their ongoing commitment to being a Global Force for Good in the 21st Century. Here’s more on the Navy’s constant efforts to serve the world:

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