My 'cuz just sent me this e-mail, and he said it was all public record so I could share it and the pics. Pretty cool.
Well, we finally had some downtime tonight, so I thought I would send everyone an e-mail.
We arrived off of the coast of Banda Aceh, Indosesia this morning. We came alongside the USS Abraham Lincoln, which will be my ride home in about a month. I have attached some the pictures. We have had non-stop helicopter landings today, bringing aboard VIPs, including the US Ambassador to Indonesia. We are taking over for the Lincoln, since we are better equipped to help get the public health services inside Indonesia up and running again. There are some other ships around, such as the USS Essex, which have helicopters to use to move things back and forth.
When we were in Singapore we embarked about 200 more people, including just under 100 volunteers from Project HOPE, a non-profit that has health care professionals on call for duty like this. It is pretty funny to see all of these nurses [many of which remind me of Aunt (LTL's Mom)] walking around. Itís quite obvious they have never been on a Navy ship before, they are wandering around lost, some even brought high heel shoes (!) on board. Itís given the Navy crew something to chuckle about.
The ship is holding up well, they finally got the shipís ballast stabilization system online, which is a complex system of computer controlled tanks and high speed pumps that keep the ship rock steady by moving ballast water around. The end result is instead of the 25 degree rolls and puke-inducing pitching from the ride out here has been reduced to a nice steady thrumming from the engine room.
We start Heath Care Operations tomorrow, which means we will be accepting patients, sending personnel ashore, supplying the area with Liquid Oxygen and Nitrogen from our Cryo plants, supplies from our vast storerooms, and services such as medical equipment repair. I may be going ashore with one of the medical teams as their communications guy.
We can see the coastline from the ship when we get close, and you can see the complete devastation of the area. I am not kidding when I say there is nothing left of the towns that used to be here. You can see tents that have been erected, and there seems to be construction of some new buildings, but mostly wasteland.
Anyway, it is time for me to go to bedÖ itís getting late and we have been pulling 18-20 hour days since we left Singapore to get all of the IT equipment re-configured for our mission.
Talk to you all later! Take a look at the picturesÖ they are pretty cool.
Last edited by luvtolean; 02-03-2005 at 11:55 AM.