Spectales: Also heard that some big hospital ship is on its way to New Orleans--as of today. Yep, today. It'll get there by Thursday--when they hope to have everyone out of New Orleans (now that the Red Cross won't be tempting them to stay for the great food and water.)
That would be the USNS Comfort. With a top speed of only 17.5 knots the Comfort isn't the speed demon that a regular duty warship is so it will take them time to get there. More than likely the Comfort has been delayed in recalling the crew to the ship, gathering/reinforcing the usual medical compliment, and stocking the ship with medical/humanitarian supplies. Putting a ship as large as Comfort to sea takes time especially when you are trying to stock enough supplies to deal with something on this scale. The ships are maintained at a status where they can put out to sea within five days of getting the order to sail for their primary mission. New Orleans is far from your traditional type of disaster so they have probably spent the extra time packing the ship with extra supplies and crew. So really the fact that USNS Comfort sailed when it did isn't exactly surprising. If anything it is probably a case of the shipyard workers and her crews really hauling to get her ready for sea. We don't know when she received tasking to sail but prior to that there isn't much her crew could have done to get her moving sooner.
Emsparks: What I want to know is why when Katrina crossed the Florida panhandle, and entered 90-degree water didn’t the government start provisioning an MEU, Hospital ship, and a container ship of relief supplies. If they had done that they could have landed supplies at land fall with in 24 hours.
That just could not have happened in that amount of time. Let us assume that everyone was on the top of their game and had perfect coordination and knowledge that the storm was coming and where it would hit. So they had an idea by the 26th and orders were arriving on the morning of the 27th. You are still looking at 4 to 5 days to recall the crews of the ship, truck emergency supplies to the ports, provision the ships with enough emergency supplies, and then to get underway. Assume we are dealing with a Nimitz Class carrier like Truman coming out of Norfolk like a bat out of hell at 33 knots. You are still looking at a near exactly 2 day voyage assuming you stay right at maximum speed and everything goes perfectly. That means in a perfect world with perfect coordination those ships might have been dropping supplies on the beach in about 6 to 7 days. There are series real world time limitations when it comes to provisioning a ship with massive amounts of supplies and getting it to sea from a standstill in port.
Do I think the administration could have sped up things somewhat by getting the tasking orders to the ship sooner? Yes. That said it might have gotten them there on Sept 2nd or 3rd if they cut all the corners and things went really well. You just can't beam a 100,000 ton ship from Norfolk to New Orleans in a 24 hour period.
LOTS: Well the mercy, I think that's the ship's name, isn't a warhip, but she looks as heavy as one. These warships are extremely heavy. Even a F5 would have a hard time wrecking it.
You are underestimating the power of the sea and that has killed many people in the past.
In World War II Task Force 38 blundered into the path of a typhoon. That storm was about equal to a weak category three storm so it wasn't a monster like Katrina. We ended up loosing three destroyers that capsized and sank in the storm. A cruiser and five carriers suffered severe damage in that storm along with several other ships suffering damage to varying degrees. At least three of these carriers suffered from serious fires. Planes ended up breaking their tie downs and slammed around the hangar decks leaking fuel that then ignited. All total nearly 150 planes were rendered unrepairable wrecks with many more being damaged enough that they needed repairs. The point I'm trying to make is warships are not immune to nature's wrath.
Even if you manage to ride out a Category Five which a Nimitz, major Amphibious Warfare Ship, and probably a Mercy Class Hospital ship could do barring unforeseen difficulties you'd suffer severe damage. You'd have just about everything that wasn't welded to the decks topside swept away from your lifeboats, to antennas, and god only knows what else. Heavy equipment, supplies, and planes would break free from their tiedows or fastenings. These things would be bouncing around the ship causing further damage to them and the ship with the constant threat of fires. You'd have crewman being injured by equipment being tossed around or just by their being slammed into things by the force of the storm. Any ship trying to ride out a storm that big would be too busy helping itself to help anyone.
Hibblette: Our Military could have been on the ready in Lafayette-shoot even in Shreveport.
And if Katrina took a unforeseen turn and hit the staging areas for troops damaging their equipment and perhaps killing some of them the calls would have been against Bush stating he put the relief efforts in danger by allowing the troops who were stationed nearby get hit by the storm. The troops should not have been stationed in any real number in the areas that the hurricane might have hit prior to it hitting the region.
Hiblette: Well there are vehicles that are known as amphibious vehicles.
And you are getting them to the region how? Most of the vehicles that are truly capable of carrying large amounts of people or supplies are far to big to airlift and they need ships in the region for them to operate from. So that means any amphibious vehicles that would have made a large difference needed to be brought in by ship. I do know Bataan was using her LCUs and some local Marine units in the area used their AAVs but amphibious vehicles are a finite resource that really need to brought in by and operated from a ship.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
-Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
- Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE