After a two-day stop at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to refuel and obtain supplies, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) returned to Haiti Sept. 21 to continue its humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HADR) mission.
“Kearsarge has refueled, resupplied, and the crew is ready to resume the vital relief operations in Haiti,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Fernandez “Frank” Ponds, commander of the U.S. military relief efforts in Haiti. “The ship now continues the promise of support and assistance to the population by distributing necessary supplies as well as requested medical and engineering support.”
To date, helicopters and landing craft embarked aboard Kearsarge have delivered more than 1,200 metric tons of relief supplies, including 26,000 gallons of water to devastated communities isolated by damaged roads and bridges.
The areas needing the most immediate assistance have been in support of and prioritized by U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
Medical teams from Kearsarge, including embarked personnel from Canada and the United States Public Health Service, continue to work with other agencies working in the country – including the Center for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders, the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations and others – to provide limited medical services. Currently, medical personnel have provided medical treatment in Marose and Calase. Medical assessments are being conducted in Bainet, Trois Ponts, Grand Saline and Belle Anse.
Air Force engineers and Navy Seabees continue to conduct assessments in some of the more heavily damaged areas where roads, bridges and critical infrastructures were destroyed by heavy rains and flooding from the storms.
Kearsarge embarked personnel include service members from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, along with medical personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service, Canadian Army and Air Force, Brazil, Project Hope and International Aid.