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USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) has been ordered to deploy to Haiti to conduct Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) missions Jan. 13. Currently, Vinson is underway in the Atlantic Ocean, and will briefly loiter off the coast of Mayport to receive equipment and supplies.
Along with Vinson, USS Bataan (LHD 5) embarked with Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU 22), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) were ordered to get underway as soon as possible. Additionally, USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) will deploy from their homeports and stand ready to assist, while USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), homeported in Baltimore, Md., is preparing to get underway, if required.
A Navy P-3 Orion aircraft from the Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 detachment operating from Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa, El Salvador, took off early this morning to conduct aerial surveys of the area affected by the earthquake.
USS Higgins (DDG 76) based out of Naval Station San Diego will arrive on station off the coast of Haiti tomorrow to provide afloat logistical services for the Coast Guard helicopters.
Additionally, various units are prepared to provide assistance with sea-based helicopters, to include H-53 Sea Stallions and H-60 Seahawks.
As the Navy component command of U.S. Southern Command, NAVSO's mission is to direct U.S. Naval forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. Routine operations include counter-illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training.