The Coronado-based aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan along with seven other Navy ships was headed to Japan Saturday to aid in the relief efforts under way after Thursday’s massive earthquake and tsunamis. They are scheduled to reach Japan within 24 hours.
“People are in trouble and frequently countries look to us for assistance,” Capt. Jeff Breslau, speaking from Hawaii for Pacific Fleet, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s second nature for us when there is a crisis to switch to that mindset.”
The three members of the Reagan Carrier Strike Group are headed for Japan, as well as the Essex, Harpers Ferry, Germantown, Tortuga and Blue Ridge, Breslau said. The ships were in the western Pacific when the quake struck at 9:46 Pacific time Thursday.
The ships and their crew may assist search-and-rescue operations, creating communications systems, moving people and supplies, medical care, building shelters and other logistical operations.
The Reagan can also help by providing fresh water. The carrier can produce 400,000 gallons of water daily, Breslau said.
City News Service contributed to this report.