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Navy readies three ships for Sandy relief

Oct. 31, 2012 - 12:48PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 31, 2012 - 12:48PM  |  
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The Navy is preparing to send three gators from the Norfolk, Va., region to assist with relief efforts after Sandy, a superstorm now estimated to have killed 60 in the U.S. and Canada and wreaked billions in damage to railways, buildings and vehicles along the eastern seaboard.

Fleet Forces Command is readying three amphibious ships — amphibious assault ship Wasp, amphibious transport dock San Antonio and dock landing ship Carter Hall — to serve as helicopter landing decks for federal authorities, a mission warships have performed in the wake of other U.S. disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"We do have three amphibious ships that are being positioned to be available to provide support if we are tasked to do so," said a Navy official, who asked for anonymity because the Navy hasn't received mission orders from the federal agencies leading the response, namely the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Northern Command.

"We're trying to make ourselves available to respond if we're asked," he said.

The Navy had not received tasking for these ships to participate in the relief mission as of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, a Navy spokesman said.

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