Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Navy Prepositioning Ship to Deliver Supplies to Haiti

By Adrian Schulte, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- In support of Operation Unified Response, a joint military relief effort launched in response to the earthquake that struck Haiti eight days ago, the U.S. Navy Maritime Prepositioning Ship USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus (T-AK 3011) is loading cargo Jan. 18-19 at Blount Island Command.

Lummus is designed to carry equipment and supplies to sustain more than 15,000 Marine Expeditionary Brigade personnel for up to 30 days in the event of conflict.

In the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, however, Lummus is loading supplies and equipment from both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as cargo from other U.S. government agencies.

More than 120 pallets of relief supplies and more than 400 16-ounce bottles of propane have been provided by USAID.

Additionally, the Marine Corps is providing cargo - including dump trucks, bulldozers and other heavy equipment - to support the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit which is engaged in humanitarian assistance missions in Port-au-Prince.

The Marine Corps is also providing electrical generators, water purification units, lumber and building materials and limited medical supplies, all of which are being loaded aboard Lummus.

Lummus will also transport three containers of port opening equipment provided by the U.S. Army, and four medical resupply vehicles and more than 90 pallets of relief supplies, including kitchenware and plastic sheeting from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The U.S. government is also providing containers carrying 24,000 gallons of gasoline and 24,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

The ship will also transport Navy lighterage – motorized and non-motorized barges – to transport the Lummus' cargo to shore.

"The 673-foot Lummus, with 165,000 square feet of cargo-carrying capacity, was ideal for the no-notice mission," said Maritime Prepositioning Ship Project Officer Mike Neuhardt. "Lummus was already in port at Blount Island offloading its cargo for scheduled maintenance."

The civilian-crewed ship is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) and ordinarily operates out of Guam/Saipan. Lummus is expected to arrive in the vicinity of Port-au-Prince Jan. 22.

Lummus is one of 10 MSC ships mobilized to date in support of humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. These ships include hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198), rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51) and dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2).

In addition, four ships have been activated from the U.S. Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force to assist with the effort. When activated, these ships come under the operational control of MSC.

Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.