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YOKOSUKA, Japan - USS George Washington was delivering water, medical supplies and hygienic supplies to Guiuan/Samar, Ormoc, Borongan and Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, Nov. 15. Twenty U.S. Navy helicopters have been in continuous operation since yesterday.
The Government of the Philippines requested assistance in getting supplies to remote areas inaccessible by truck, so that's where the focus has been. For example, USNS Richard E. Byrd delivered supplies to the village of Salangan via helicopter today. Guiuan is the supply hub and Navy helos distribute from there to the remote areas where need is greatest. In addition, USS George Washington and USS Lassen helos have carried displaced and injured civilians from remote areas such as islands in Leyte Gulf to areas where medical aid is present.
We are coordinating with partner navies such as Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, and Norway to deliver assistance.
Three ships (USS Emory S. Land, USS Antietam and USS Cowpens) with 4 helicopters are working in Leyte Gulf to distribute supplies from Tacloban.
USS Mustin is in Ormoc Bay with 2 helos and is moving supplies delivered by C-130s from distribution centers to remote areas where the supplies are needed. We plan on moving USNS Charles Drew to Orloc this evening also.
Three P-3 aircraft continue to survey the affected area to assist Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. planners with their response.
The USS Ashland and USS Germantown arrived in Okinawa, Japan, and are now onloading supplies and Marines. We expect them to be on scene in about 3-4 days.
The U.S. Navy is supporting the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade with assistance to the Philippine government in the aftermath of the Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.