Elizabeth Sailor Participates In Haiti Relief Effort

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ELIZABETH—Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerry Melvin, a 1999 graduate of Elizabeth High School, recently participated in Operation Unified Response as part of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission.

Operation Unified Response is a joint U.S. military effort designed to provide relief in response to the 7. 0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12. USS Bataan (LHD 5) is homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Bataan arrived in the Port-au-Prince area Jan. 19 and began unloading supplies to shore, including beach clearing equipment, bulldozers and rubble removers. They began their Sailors Ashore Mission in Grand Goave, Haiti shortly after the commands arrival.

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Bataan sailors in Grand Goave donated more than $5,500 to charities assisting in Haiti, cleared 150 tons of rubble, built 65 shelters for 130 families, distributed 500,000 meals, provided triage for 850 patients and medically evacuated 55 Haitians in need of urgent medical care.

Bataan has experience in previous disasters and humanitarian relief missions. The amphibious vessel was the first U.S. Navy ship on-scene in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, a category-4 hurricane.


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