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US hospital ship readied for deployment to Phl

Jose Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2013 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of the US Pacific Fleet, has directed the activation of USNS Mercy to prepare the hospital ship for possible deployment to the Philippines to help typhoon victims.

If ordered to deploy, Mercy, which is berthed in San Diego, would get underway in the next several days and arrive in the Philippines in December, joining other US Pacific Fleet units already supporting Operation Damayan, officials said.

US military ships now operating in Philippine waters include the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its escort ships, the guided missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Cowpens and USNS Yukon.

The nuclear-powered USS George Washington and accompanying ships arrived off eastern Samar province on Thursday evening, carrying 5,000 crew and more than 80 aircraft.

US sailors have brought food and water ashore in Tacloban and the eastern Samar province town of Guiuan whose airport was a US naval air base in World War Two. The carrier is moored near where US General Douglas Mac- Arthur’s force landed on Oct. 20, 1944, in one of the biggest Allied victories.

The destroyers USS Mustin and USS Lassen, the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land, and the oceanographic survey ship USNS Bowditch are also on station and coordinating with the Philippine government.             

 

EMORY S GENERAL DOUGLAS MAC GEORGE WASHINGTON HARRY HARRIS JR. OPERATION DAMAYAN PACIFIC FLEET SAMAR SAN DIEGO USS WORLD WAR TWO
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