Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bataan LCACs Land Ashore to Bring More Relief in Haiti

A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 exits the well deck of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) while transporting equipment and personnel off the coast of Haiti. Bataan, along with amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), are participating in Operation Unified Response and are providing military support capabilities to civil authorities to help stabilize and improve the situation in Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson/Released)

GRAND GOAVE, Haiti (NNS) -- Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 Air Cushioned Landing Crafts (LCAC) left the well deck of multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) and arrived on the beaches of Haiti Jan. 22.

They brought 24 vehicles ashore for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to carry relief supplies.

Opening the beach and bringing in vehicles to navigate the inferior roads has relief flowing by air, land and sea.

"The efforts of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission are an awesome display of the Navy-Marine Corps team bringing relief to those in need," said Capt. Thomas Negus, commodore, USS Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission. "It is truly a 'Global Force for good.'"

The landing craft moved eight Light Armor Vehicles (LAV) and 16 High-Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles in seven trips by three LCACs.
With today's landing, ACU-4 is ready to continue to offload the 22nd MEU's personnel and equipment.

"Right now we are standing by to offload the rest of the MEU and their equipment. It's a process with a lot of moving parts, but now that (LCACs) are able to help, it should go a bit faster." said Klimko.

Due to the LCAC's ability to carry large amount of personnel, supplies, and vehicles, the landing craft's debut was a welcome addition to the relief effort.

"We're glad to get in there," said Klimko. "A lot of good work has been done on the air side, but we're glad to finally be using the landing side's equipment and personnel."

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