Following is the text of a January 11 news release from the U.S. Navy announcing that two Navy ships will be sailing to Venezuela to provide humanitarian assistance to that flood-ravaged country:
The United States Navy
January 11, 2000
Navy-Marine Corps Team To Assist In Venezuela
Norfolk, Va. -- Two Norfolk-based ships will depart this week to provide humanitarian assistance in the flood-ravaged country of Venezuela.
USS Nashville (LPD 13) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46) will provide a maritime platform for Navy Construction Battalion and Marine Corps engineering personnel who will help the Venezuelans clear roads along the Venezuelan coastline. The roads must be cleared to allow emergency relief efforts access to coastal cities.
The ships will make brief stops in North Carolina and Puerto Rico to pick up personnel and equipment before proceeding to Venezuela. Tortuga is scheduled to depart Tuesday and Nashville is expected to get underway later this week. It is anticipated that Nashville will remain off the Venezuelan coastline to support sea-based engineer operations for approximately two months. Tortuga will return to Norfolk after the equipment and personnel have been off loaded in Venezuela.
Nashville and Tortuga are both amphibious landing platforms and will be loaded with bulldozers, tractors, helicopters, engineering equipment and landing craft. Both ships will be accompanied by Navy Beachmaster Units homeported in Norfolk to assist in off-loading personnel and equipment ashore in Venezuela.
The ships will on-load a Marine Corps Engineer Task Force in Morehead City, N.C., and a Navy Engineer Detachment stationed at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, P.R.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State)