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USS Higgins Supports Relief Effort from Coast of Haiti

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100121-11
Release Date: 1/21/2010 4:16:00 PM

From Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Eight miles from Port Au Prince, Haiti, Sailors aboard San Diego based USS Higgins (DDG 76) worked around the clock Jan. 20 to bring relief to earthquake victims.

Higgins crew members are providing basic medical treatment at a joint field hospital by carrying injured personnel to helicopters and overhauling medical facilities to improve efficiencies.

Higgins also offered support to the hospital ship USS Comfort (T-AH 20) and provided housing for the shore-based medical teams from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

"Over the last two days, we have been asked to do everything from bandage wounds to rearrange a facility to create an additional operating room," said Command Master Chief Bobby Maddox. "Anything these Sailors have been asked to do, they have stepped in and done it, and done it very well."

More than 10,000 Sailors and Marines are involved in the Haiti humanitarian relief effort. Approximately 17 ships, including Higgins and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), also homeported in San Diego, 48 helicopters and 12 fixed-wing aircraft are engaged in delivering relief supplies for distribution to affected areas.

Higgins was diverted to Haiti while returning to San Diego from the Mediterranean on the last leg of an around-the-world deployment that began July 16. The ship and her 271-member crew arrived the day after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

"While we are anxious to see our families again," said Cmdr. Carl Meuser, Higgins commanding officer. "As long as we are able to contribute and as long as we are needed here, we are going to stay."

Higgins and Bunker Hill's assistance is part of what is expected to be an extended and in-depth mission to assist the people of the earthquake-ravaged region.

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