Aircraft Carriers aren’t a one-trick pony

“We have a full service hospital on board. We’ve got a surgeon, petty officers who specialize in medicine, we can turn the hangar bay into a triage unit,” explained Commander David Hecht, a Navy Public Affairs Officer.

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On board the ship are supplies to help with both humanitarian aid and rescue, including: 83 pallets of water, 59 pallets of cots, 500 hardhats, 500 safety glasses, 500 masks, 400 gloves, 2000 cans of insect repellent, 20 cases of MRE’s, and 200 camel packs, according to Commander Hecht.

The Navy is also sending the USNS Comfort and the USS Mesa Verde. But the George Washington has a unique capability.

“An aircraft carrier has an incredible capacity for making fresh water in a disaster situation; that’s vital.” Hecht told WAVY.com the ship can turn as many as 400,000 gallons of salt water into fresh water daily.