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Truman Prepares to Provide Water to U.S. Gulf Coast

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050903-06
Release Date: 9/3/2005 6:32:00 PM

From USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) left her home port of Norfolk, Va., Sept. 1, and is now on her way to the Gulf Coast to act as the afloat forward support base for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

As Truman makes her way down south, her Sailors are preparing for the task of providing potable water to the people ravaged by Katrina.

“Our mission is very important because of the massive quantities of water we can provide. It will outweigh what other ships can give,” said Master Chief Engineman (SW) Keith Thomas, of Williamsburg, Va.

Truman is capable of producing 400,000 gallons of water per day.

Truman Sailors may be called upon to conserve water so more can be used for the relief efforts. “It’s something that will have to be gauged,” said Thomas. “We may have to consume less ourselves to provide for the people [ashore].”

One of the first steps in getting water to land is creating a way to efficiently fill containers with water for pilots to fly off the ship.

“The empty containers will get flown on, rinsed out, filled up and reloaded onto the aircraft to be flown off,” said Thomas.

Taking ideas from USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) experience with tsunami relief efforts, Truman has constructed portable fresh water manifolds to fill the water containers. The manifold pipe will be hooked up to a hose connected to the ship's potable water system. Sailors will then fill up the containers at the six faucets coming off of the pipe.

“We made two of them so we can fill 12 jugs at a time. Quite a lot of water can be provided this way,” said Senior Chief Hull Technician (SW/AW) Richard Stark, of Fort Worth, Texas.

The hull technicians designed and constructed the manifolds from scratch in just over eight hours. This important apparatus will not only increase the amount of water that pilots are able to fly off the ship, but also the time it takes them to get it off and to those who have been affected by the hurricane.

“It’s going to give the ship more of an advantage at getting it off through all the different valves that we produced on the piece,” said Hull Technician Fireman Steven Irwin, of Camarillo, Calif. “It’s going to get the water to all the jugs faster.”

This may turn out to be one of Truman's most important missions while in the Gulf.

“One of the biggest ways we can help is water," said Stark.

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