Army vessel supporting Haiti relief effort
January 28, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 27, 2010) -- The Runny Mede, a U.S. Army logistics support vessel from the 7th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Eustis, Va., docked at the Port-Au-Prince Seaport Jan. 25, in support of Operation Unified Response.
The Army's largest powered watercraft arrived after a five-day trip loaded with critical equipment needed in Haiti. The cargo for this mission was all military equipment including some Humvees, a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle -- which has a 2.5-ton capacity -- a 250-gallon water tank, most commonly known as a "water buffalo" and a bulldozer.
The LSV is designed to carry 2,000 tons of cargo and primarily used in intra-theater contingency operations. The vessel is 273 feet long and has a deck area of 10,500 square feet.
As vessel master for the Runny Mede and convoy commander of the three watercrafts which made their way to Haiti from Fort Eustis, Va., Chief Warrant Officer David Sherrod is responsible the navigation of the convoy and normal day-to-day operations onboard his ship.
"This is going to take a while" said Sherrod of the Operation Unified Response mission.
"I have never seen anything like this, nothing of this magnitude," said Sherrod of the devastation he witnessed at the Port-Au-Prince Seaport in Haiti.
The pier collapsed and is submerged underwater, which makes it difficult for large ships to go near the shore. What makes the Army's logistics support vessel special is that when no other vessel can go near a port, like the one in Haiti; this vessel can go straight to shore, said Sherrod.
"Ship-to-shore missions are vital," said Sherrod "because we can actually hit the beach and download."
The Runny Mede's next trip will be water and medical supplies. The ship is running "as many trips as it takes" said Sherrod.