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San Diego Bound, USS Carl Vinson Assists Haiti Relief Efforts

Above: U.S. Coast Guardsmen and U.S. Navy sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson evacuate earthquake victims for medical treatment in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti on Jan, 16, 2010.

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Aired 1/20/10

The crew aboard the USS Carl Vinson is working around the clock to send supplies to quake ravaged Haiti. The aircraft carrier was diverted from its journey to San Diego where it will be home-ported on North Island.

The crew aboard the USS Carl Vinson is working around the clock to send supplies to quake ravaged Haiti. The aircraft carrier was diverted from its journey to San Diego where it will be home-ported on North Island.

Many of the nearly 3,000 young sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson applied for duty on the aircraft carrier because they want to be stationed in San Diego. Instead of engaging in exercises off South America en route for their new homeport, they find themselves working day and night to assist relief efforts in Haiti.

Ship spokesman Lieutenant Commander Jim Krohne says one of their tasks has been to transport freshwater from the ship’s water purifier via helicopter to shore.

Haitian citizens receive water from air crewmen from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
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Above: Haitian citizens receive water from air crewmen from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Nicholas Wentworth hangs an intravenous solution inside an MH-60S Sea Hawk prior to flying an earthquake victim to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
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Above: U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Nicholas Wentworth hangs an intravenous solution inside an MH-60S Sea Hawk prior to flying an earthquake victim to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

“We’re able to produce in excess of 100,000 gallons of water, and we've been filling five gallon jugs. So far in the past two days, we’ve been able to send over 800 of those five gallon jugs ashore,” Krohne said. "And we’ll continue to do that over the next several days, or as long as it’s needed.”

Krohne says the Vinson has also been able to send medical supplies and treat urgent care survivors who were medevaced aboard.

“We have a 50 bed ward,” Krohne said, “and we also have a surgical unit, like we just recently did some brain surgery, so if they have life threatening injuries, they can come here and get surgical treatment and then they’ll be transported to the Comfort.”

The USS Comfort, a hospital ship, is scheduled to arrive in the area Wednesday.

Krohne says more land based tasks may evolve as other U.S. Naval vessels arrive to assist the mission.

The USS Carl Vinson was scheduled to arrive in San Diego in April. Krohne says that could still happen, but the aircraft carrier will stay in Haiti as long as it’s needed.

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