USS Bataan Begins Relief Mission in Haiti

21 January 2010 (Last Updated January 21st, 2010 18:30)

The US Navy has deployed its Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan as part of relief efforts to bring aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti. As part of the relief mission, the assault ship has started unloading supplies such as beach-clearing equipment, bulldozers and rubble remove

The US Navy has deployed its Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan as part of relief efforts to bring aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti.

As part of the relief mission, the assault ship has started unloading supplies such as beach-clearing equipment, bulldozers and rubble removers.

US Navy commander, Bataan senior medical officer Melanie Merrick said the primary goal of the ship is getting people on the beach and getting a site secure.

"There is obviously a lot of demand for the supplies and we are getting security in place to have a more permanent residence and be able to distribute supplies," Merrick said.

"The aid will last as long as it's needed."

The 844ft-long, 106ft-wide USS Bataan can accommodate a crew complement of 3,200 sailors and marines, can cruise at speeds in excess of 25kt.

It has a surgical team with four operating rooms, 13 intensive care unit beds and 38 ward beds.

In addition, the US Navy also deployed the Mercy-class hospital ship USNS Comfort with 1,000 beds and 600 medical personnel.