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Navy Ship Surveys Tsunami-Affected Waters

Navy Ship Surveys Tsunami-Affected Waters

Washington D.C. -- (NNS) February 2, 2005 -- Military Sealift Command hydrographic survey ship USNS John McDonnell (T-AGS 51) is in her second week of operation supporting the United States’ humanitarian relief efforts in Southeast Asia following the Dec. 26 tsunami that devastated coastlines throughout the region.

One of 11 MSC ships currently involved in Operation Unified Assistance, McDonnell has been conducting hydrographic surveys off the coast of Indonesia for most of January, near the epicenter of the 9.0 earthquake that triggered one of the largest natural disasters in recent history.

Equipped with a multibeam sonar system used to chart the ocean floor, McDonnell is working to map harbors and coastal channels in the area in order to identify navigational hazards and potential obstacles left by the tsunami. Once collected, survey data will be distributed to relief ships and involved countries to ensure the safe delivery of badly needed supplies and personnel throughout the region.

MSC’s seven hydrographic and oceanographic survey ships are used to study the earth’s oceans, collect data and chart three-fourths of the world’s coastlines.

"MSC special mission ships like USNS John McDonnell have a proud history of responding to crises around the world," said Vice Adm. David L. Brewer III, commander of Military Sealift Command. "The oceanographic data that is collected will help ensure safe passage for ships that transit the area."

Twenty-three mariners employed by a ship operating company under contract to MSC operate the 208-foot McDonnell, while nine scientists from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office operate the ship’s survey equipment.

The ship is expected to stay in the region for nearly two months.

Today, MSC is operating 140 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships around the world, with many of them supporting the global war on terrorism. MSC ships replenish Navy ships at sea, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move 95 percent of military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

        From Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).