Navy Prepares Ships for Hurricane Irma Relief Operations

USNI News – The Navy sent the ships to sea ahead of the storm’s landfall last week, in order to be able to quickly assist with recovery efforts. The ships can provide medical support, security, logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and can assist state and federal agencies assessing damage. Before the Navy can provide assistance, a formal request must be made by state and federal officials.

Operations Other Than War – China’s Hospital Ship Helps Out in The Philippines—America’s Stays Home

War is Boing – The Chinese navy’s giant hospital ship Peace Ark has begun search-and-rescue operations in The Philippines, some three weeks after one of history’s biggest recorded typhoons smashed into the archipelago nation and killed thousands of people. Meanwhile America’s own Pacific Ocean hospital ship, the much larger Mercy, remains in port in California—Washington having determined that, nearly a month after the storm, Manila no longer needs the vessel’s expansive, cutting-edge facilities.

Operations Other Than War – The Navy’s Strategy for Saving the World

War is Boring – On Nov. 13, 2013, the U.S. Pacific Fleet activated the San Diego-based USNS Mercy, one of America’s two giant hospital ships, to help out in The Philippines after the archipelago nation was devastated by one of history’s biggest recorded storms. Mercy’s deployment is part of wider humanitarian strategy.

Operations Other Than War – Navy Activates Hospital Ship Mercy for Philippines Disaster Relief

USNI News – The Navy is activating the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) to the Philippines as part of the ongoing U.S. disaster effort following Super Typhoon Haiyan. If ordered to deploy, Mercy would get underway in the next several days and could arrive in the Philippines sometime in December.

Operations Other Than War – British carrier HMS Illustrious to aid typhoon victims

BBC – The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious will be sent to help people affected by the typhoon in the Philippines. HMS Illustrious is currently in the Gulf and is expected to arrive in the Philippines on 24 November. The carrier will relieve destroyer HMS Daring, which is already on its way and should arrive on Saturday.

US Navy – The New Normalcy: Sea Power and Contingency Operations in the Twenty-First Century

US Naval War College Review – In September 1994, the Caribbean nation of Haiti burst into political unrest that drove twenty-six thousand migrants out to sea on board overcrowded and unseaworthy craft in an unprecedented mass migration to the United States. Several months later, over thirty thousand Cubans followed suit, attempting to reach the mainland on literally anything that could float. On 31 August 2005, a “weapon of mass destruction” in the form of a category-five hurricane exploded in the Gulf coast city of New Orleans, killing over 1,300 citizens and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands. Finally, on 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploratory oil rig exploded, heralding an unprecedented environmental disaster whose final impact has yet to be determined. What these events shared, with their catastrophic nature and international impact, was a link to the sea. Although vastly different in cause, circumstances, and scope—ranging as they did from a man-made political event to recovery from the wrath of nature—these crises all saw a significant application of sea power in reaction and recovery operations.

Operations Other Than War – Foreign Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster-Relief Operations: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

US Naval War College Review – Foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief (FHA/DR) operations are some of the most complicated operations conducted by the military. These missions constitute a core Navy mission; their planning and execution differ from those of a kinetic military campaign, but addressing the key principles early will enable the successful execution. The following lessons learned are based on the author’s experiences over the past two years conducting five FHA/DR operations in the western Pacific.

Operations Other Than War – The military interventions we don’t plan for — those to protect civilians

Washington Post – General Anthony Zinni says that “No one argues that planning for wars makes them more likely. Yet this seems to be the underlying reason for the military’s allergy to planning for civilian protection. U.S. armed forces should start treating civilian protection missions as seriously as they take wars. It’s only prudent to study mass-atrocity response operations, plan for them and, perhaps most important, conduct exercises with the civilian leaders who would make decisions about potential interventions.”