November 14, 2013 Back to overview,Home naval-today American Hospital Ship to Support Philippines American Hospital Ship to Support Philippines Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, directed the activation of the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) Nov. 13 to be ready to support ongoing disaster relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.Berthed in San Diego, USNS Mercy has been in a reduced operating status, which is normal for a hospital ship. Harris’ activation order accelerates Mercy’s ability to attain full operating status to include moving necessary personnel and equipment to the ship.If ordered to deploy, Mercy would get underway in the next several days and could arrive in the Philippines sometime in December, joining other U.S. Pacific Fleet units already supporting Operation Damayan.On Nov. 11 Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and her escort ships to depart early from a liberty port in Hong Kong and make best possible speed for the Philippines. George Washington, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USNS Yukon (T-AO-202) will arrive off the coast of the Philippines the evening of Nov. 14 local time.U.S. Pacific Fleet ships already operating in the Western Pacific were also immediately diverted. USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), and USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) are now on station and coordinating with the Philippine government. The U.S. Navy also has P-3 maritime aircraft already supporting the disaster relief effort led by the Government of the Philippines.The amphibious ships USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Germantown (LSD 42) are departing Sasebo, Japan, Nov. 14 local time. After picking up Marines, equipment and relief supplies in Okinawa, the two ships will arrive at the Philippines in approximately one week. USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) are also heading to the Philippines.This collection of ships and their complement of aircraft, to include much-needed helicopters, will provide food and water, the capability to move relief supplies to isolated areas, and to help move the badly injured for medical care.The U.S. Navy persistently trains with numerous Pacific nations and military units, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to prepare for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. In 2012, Mercy participated in the annual Pacific Partnership mission, which included working with Philippine authorities in the vicinity of Tacloban, the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Because of the long-standing partnership between the two nations, the U.S., working through the Philippine government, is able to rapidly respond with critically needed capabilities and supplies in times of crisis.The role of U.S. military forces during any foreign humanitarian assistance event is to rapidly respond to host nations’ requests for support to help mitigate human suffering, prevent further loss of life and mitigate property damage. The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team has a particularly successful history of working with international relief organizations and host nations to respond to natural disasters.Operation Damayan is part of the broader U.S. Government effort to support the Government of the Philippines’s request for humanitarian assistance. This joint team effort includes coordination by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, in constant consultation with Philippine authorities. To date, Philippine and U.S. personnel have transported more than 107,000 pounds of relief supplies.[mappress]Press Release, November 14, 2013; Image: US Navy Share this article
THE return of the Georgetown Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship to the Berlin Tarmac saw fans turn out in their numbers to witness high quality street-ball as crowd favourites, Sparta Boss and Tiger Bay, booked their quarter-final spots with victories on Saturday night while defending champions, Gold is Money, fell via penalties to a determined Broad Street.On night two of the Group Stage round, Tiger Bay dominated Albouystown-B in their Group C encounter and booked their quarter-final berth with a resounding 4-0 win as Jason Fredericks (4th minute), Keoma Gravesande (9th minute) and Solomon Austin with a Guinness Goal (any goal scored in the final 3 minutes of the match counts as 2) in the 19th minute sealed the deal.Sparta Boss ran out 4-1 winners in their Group B fixture against Charlotte Street. Windell Allison handed Charlotte the early advantage with a fourth minute strike which would be the only goal of the first half, but Sparta came into their stride late in the second half as Ryan Hackett (14th minute) and Sheldon Sheperd (16th minute) struck before Curtez Kellman netted a Guinness Goal in the 18th minute to hand Sparta the victory.In the feature match-up of the night, defending champions, Gold is Money, took on Broad Street in Group A action and it proved to be another tense affair as for the second night in succession, Broad Street were unable to score in regulation time which meant the affair had to be decided from the penalty spot yet again.However, this time around, Broad Street held firm while Gold is Money faltered to hand their rivals a 4-3 victory on sudden death penalties.Earlier in the night, LA Ballers recorded their second successive victory in Group A with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over John Street.Andres Hinds put John Street 1-0 ahead with his sixth-minute strike and things looked to be going their way as LA Ballers were repeatedly frustrated as their attempts on goal proved futile. However, Jaleel ‘Shines’ Hamilton would be the savior with his 19th-minute Guinness Goal handing LA the 2-1 win.In another classic rivalry, North East La Penitence came out on top with a 3-2 victory over Sophia; Shaquille Brown found the back of the goal in the seventh minute to give North East the 1-0 lead which they kept until the 18th minute when Sophia’s Joshua Kamal netted a Guinness Goal. It meant that Sophia were leading 2-1 at that point but Kelvin Moore broke Sophia’s heart with a 19th-minute Guinness Goal of his own to ensure that North East ran out 3-2 winners.Albouystown-B needled Alexander Village with Lennox ‘Tyga’ Cort on target in the eighth-minute. Leopold Street also beat Future Stars via the same scoreline with Okeene Fraser netting the only goal in the 13th minute.Back Circle had Adrian Aaron (14th minute) and Jermain Beckles (17th minute) to thank for their 2-1 win over Rising Stars after Jorrell Tyrell had handed his side a 1-0 advantage in the fifth minute.After two nights of Group Stage action, Sparta Boss and Albouystown-B have booked their quarter-final spots with two successive victories in Group B while Tiger Bay and Leopold Street are also undefeated in Group C and have qualified for the quarter-finals as well.The group stage will end on Friday (July 26). The top two finishers from each pool will advance to the quarterfinals and subsequent semi-finals on Saturday (July 27) with the grand finale set for August 3 at a venue to be announced.The eight teams who failed to advance from the group round will contest the Guinness Plate Championship.The winning team will collect $500,000 and the championship trophy, with the second, third, and fourth-placed finishers copping $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively with the corresponding trophies.They will also earn automatic berth in the National Championship in August.To date, Beacons (Bartica champions), Melanie-B (East Coast Demerara winners), Brothers United (West Demerara/East Bank Demerara winners), Trafalgar (Berbice champions) and High Rollers (Linden champions), have all secured automatic berths to the national championship.