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USNS Grasp, Divers Arrive in Port-au-Prince, Begin Port Assessments

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100118-04
Release Date: 1/18/2010 12:56:00 PM

From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) arrived in Haiti Jan. 18 and began coordinated joint diving operations in the port of Port-au-Prince in support of Operation Unified Response.

Grasp, a Military Sealift Command (MSC) rescue and salvage vessel, began dive operations with embarked U.S. Army's 544th Engineer Dive Team to assess the damage to the port facilities in order to reopen them for operations, allowing relief supplies and personnel additional access to provide aid.

"The 544th is ready to execute underwater surveying operations to identify obstacles that are blocking the channels in Haiti as well as confirm possible areas for unloading of cargo." said Capt. Scott Sann, Commander, 544th Engineer Dive Team. "This would be followed by salvage operations to clear debris from the identified pathways."

Grasp and the 544th will work in conjunction with Explosive Ordnance Disposal group 2, the Mobile and Diving Salvage Unit 2, and Underwater Construction Team 2 under command of Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 42. CTF 42 is overall in charge of all port assessment activities and coordination during Operation Unified Response.

Grasp and the 544th had been conducting Navy Diver Southern Partnership Station 2010 (ND SPS 10) off the coast of Belize prior to the earthquake in Haiti. Once diverted, the ship made a brief stop in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to refuel and collect food and supplies for humanitarian aid and disaster relief prior to their arrival in Port-au-Prince.

For more information, please contact NAVSO/C4F Public Affairs at (904) 483-6870 or email comusnavso-c4f_mypt_pao@navy.mil. Additional information is available at our command website, www.public.navy.mil/comusnavso-c4f or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&gid=52350813690 .

Additional information on DoD support to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti is available at www.southcom.mil/AppsSC/factFiles.php?id=138 and www.navy.mil/haiti/index.html
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For more news from U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/navso.



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