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Bataan Provides Vital Link to Haiti Relief

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100128-12
Release Date: 1/28/2010 3:02:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha Robinett, USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs

USS BATAAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) successfully completed a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) Jan. 27, receiving approximately 170 pallets to support Operation Unified Response.

The relief supplies have been quickly moving into Haiti from Sacagawea and USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) where they're brought ashore by amphibious ships like Bataan operating off the coast.

The supplies are ultimately distributed to the people of Haiti through close coordination with the government of Haiti, USAID, the Department of State and the United Nations.

"It's amazing," said Lt. Andre Trofort, a chaplain aboard Bataan. "There has been a great response, not just from the United States, but from the world. It feels good to know that there are so many people backing us up at home. It is affirming me that we are doing a good thing."

Supplies delivered by Bataan Jan. 27 included 80 pallets of meals-ready-to-eat, 16 Red Cross pallets of clothing, canned food and diapers and 70 Project Hand Clasp pallets of medical supplies, hygiene supplies and blankets.

Since Bataan arrived in Haiti to support Operation Unified Response, the ship has received more than 1,000 pallets of food and other items, helping to facilitate relief efforts.

"It's important that we bring these items on board for the Haitian community," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (SW) Sanford Darlington.

Darlington said the supplies are not only helping the people of Haiti but helping to fuel the Sailors and Marines on board through their efforts ashore.

Bataan moves relief supplies ashore by way of air cushion landing craft, landing craft utility boats and helicopters to support the overall relief efforts in Haiti.

Bataan, USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) are supporting Operation Unified Response as the Amphibious Relief Mission, providing military support capabilities to civil authorities and to help stabilize and improve the situation in the wake of this disaster.

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