Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

USS Reagan Headed To Help Tsunami Victims In Japan

Audio

USS Reagan Headed To Help Tsunami Victims In Japan

A San Diego-based, nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, is headed toward Japan today to stand ready to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

Commander Greg Hicks of the Navy in San Diego said the Reagan was already in the Western Pacific. The Reagan belongs to the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet, but was scheduled to join the Navy’s 7th fleet in Japan as part of her routine deployment.

Hicks added that the hospital ship, the USS Mercy, is currently in San Diego Bay undergoing maintenance, but that she could be activated if necessary.

Lt. Cmmdr. John Perkins of Pacific Fleet headquarters said the aircraft carrier and her crew of 5,000 should arrive off the northeast coast of Japan around midday Saturday (U.S. time). He said aircraft carriers are uniquely equipped to help in disasters like these because they can produce thousands of gallons of potable water a day.

“It also has aircraft that can survey the damage,” Perkins said, “and helicopters can get supplies inland, because you don’t know how the roads are. You may only be able to get to certain places via helicopter.”

Perkins said the Japanese Government has requested assistance, but the Navy is waiting for specific details of how they can help.

He said no U.S. vessels based in Japan or Hawaii was damaged by the tsunami.

Marine Corps spokesman Captain Brian Block said none of the approximately 20,000 Marines stationed in Japan was harmed by the earthquake or the tsunami. He said there has been minimal, if any, damage to facilities there. They are standing by in case they receive orders to offer assistance.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.