NORFOLK (AP) -- The Navy says more than 30 of its ships have moved out of Hurricane Irene's path and are ready to help after the storm passes.
The Navy sent 27 ships from the Hampton Roads region out to sea on Thursday to protect them from Irene. Another 11 ships were already under way.
Second Fleet commander Vice Adm. Daniel Holloway said Saturday that the ships are now in a position to support search and rescue, medical evacuation and other post-storm efforts along the East Coast.
USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), USS New York (LPD 21), USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Ponce and (LPD 15) are available to support FEMA and the U.S. Coast Guard with search and rescue efforts and medical evacuation if requested.
Navy P-3 Orion aircraft are poised to provide full motion video capability after Hurricane Irene passes in order to provide the government the ability to see what ground conditions are like in the aftermath of the storm.
Additional heavy and medium lift helicopters are being made available to support from the land as well. Other units are making preparations to support if required and include: a Mobile Dive Salvage Unit, a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Air Detachment, an Underwater Construction Team and an Expeditionary Command Element Naval Construction Mobile Construction Battalion.
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