Wednesday, August 31, 2005


The United States is being invaded ... by itself. In addition to all the National Guard troops being sent to the Gulf Coast, the Navy is also sending some ships to the area.
The Pentagon effort includes the Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, whose helicopters have been flying relief missions from off the Louisiana coast.

The ship, which resembles a small aircraft carrier, can produce large quantities of fresh water and is equipped with 600 hospital beds. (Watch video report on storm-related health risks)

Several other ships, including a rescue and salvage vessel and the USS Iwo Jima, another amphibious assault ship, are on their way from Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy said.

The USNS Comfort, a floating hospital based in Baltimore, Maryland, will depart in coming days. A medical crew from Bethesda Naval Hospital will staff the ship. It has full hospital capabilities, including operating rooms and hundreds of beds.

We sent the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to Indonesia to assist the tsunami victims. Should we have had a similar force trailing the storm to be there quickly in anticipation of roads and airports being unusable?


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