The aircraft carrier USS George Washington, USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship, and USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, are deployed from Norfolk, Virginia to assist in hurricane relief efforts.

In response to the pending threat of Hurricane Matthew, the US Navy deployed the aircraft carrier USS George Washington from its home base in Norfolk, VA to assist in relief efforts if needed. Additionally, the hospital ship USNS Comfort and amphibious transport ship USS Mesa Verde also deployed.

The current projected path of Hurricane Matthew has the storm racing up much of the east coast. The hurricane’s effects have already been felt in Haiti, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew became the first Category 4 landfall in Haiti in 52 years, and the destruction showed. The current death toll has risen to nearly 300 as of Friday morning.

The aircraft carrier and its complement of ships provides government officials with a ready response team and a very capable humanitarian response/relief platform.

“Between our ability to make fresh water and our ability to transport via our helicopters, as well as our medical staff that we have on board, an aircraft carrier is very vital to a humanitarian assistance, disaster relief mission,” said Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic.