Here's how the Navy is providing assistance to the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

Aviation Boatswains Mates (Handling), assigned to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) signal for landing of a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, assigned to the Blue Knights of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 365 (Reinforced), on the flight deck, Sept. 6, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lenny Weston)

The Norfolk-based amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and a locally-based helicopter squadron have been providing assistance to the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas for days, according to Navy photos posted on social media.

The posts provide the first glimpse into the U.S. Navy's response to the hurricane more than a week after the Category 5 storm slammed into the Bahamas, killing 43 as the storm slowly moved across the island chain.

U.S. Northern Command, which is overseeing the military response in the Bahamas in coordination with the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, said late Monday the command has received 30 requests for military support from the office.

So far, that has not included a request for medical support that could be provided by the Norfolk-based hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is providing humanitarian relief elsewhere in Latin America, according to Northern Command spokesman Bill Lewis.

But social media posts show the Bataan has 20 people from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth on board to help out with disaster relief.

On Monday, the naval hospital posted on Facebook that its Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship members used a helicopter from the Bataan to evacuate a severely injured five-year-old in Nassau, Bahamas.

[facebook[0]=68.ARDUKQyXPiRbdqBrhTXjJZ6VDVSNTcdUkDag6Q_tllkk8UinIluJe94saPPDwVogoPElcKgp7oFDdfxbtIi1hQbF0WmlmGTXcrUhqLsJECY1kJJiV6jiZBpMXBal2m0WYlqdt5z9llsuav_bVasNtAwT6WgUuEIuonMTMhRzx7OZe9wgk-cLjyEXu5Xjs-hDw0MjmPdCVansIUXSaIfa5aM8PLYw1JfECEi8_0d7ajhw0GIk6w906TMfl-XVRy1UiSPbClZFiPzAgcT0xxeo9KLwDF4qELYukuO8f_xJ4c9Fguf452EsGctzX8VJKKuOiLxGVk_KCmoPBHTQNGpMVwht8gi-t8O00kTNVcdBn8IA1xDTppOntnT5zU6mvF9YNXYXNek5Gup5wC-It-6WX4pITs1aYYGsvyKDoW4CRAiMNc1alY5MN3K2Wq1tzw68ZTuvjUY&__tn__=-R expand=1]

The Bataan also helped out in the wake of the storm when four Marine MV-22 Ospreys that were on board were dispatched to Florida on Sept. 4 to pick up an Air Force Airfield Assessment Team and take them to the Bahamas, Lewis said.

When the storm hit, the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group was already out to sea conducting exercises with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

In a memo sent Saturday evening to the offices of U.S. senators, the Defense Department said that the airfield assessment team had completed its evaluation of Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport and that it now has the capability to accept inbound C-130 and C-17 aircraft.

The team also went to Marsh Harbor on Abaco Island and completed an assessment for a base of operations for an urban search and rescue team from Fairfax County, the memo said.

A Norfolk-based helicopter squadron also is providing unspecified assistance.

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 posted photos on Facebook of the squadron at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., which is south of Miami.

"We have flown multiple missions to the Bahamas and will continue to provide assistance over the coming days," the squadron said in a post on Monday.

The squadron flies the MH-53E Sea Dragon.

U.S. Northern Command posted a picture on Facebook on Sunday showing an all-terrain vehicle being loaded onto a Sea Dragon in Florida.

The post said the ATV would be used to aid in navigating rugged terrain during assessments and site surveys in the Bahamas.

The U.S. Office for Disaster Assistance also posted on Twitter on Sunday that the Navy has transported 80 response staff and nearly 31 metric tons of supplies to help with search efforts. The post featured a Navy helicopter.

On Monday, another post that showed pictures of a helicopter from Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 said U.S. Northern Command had delivered 72 metric tons of relief supplies and search equipment as well as 183 responders and four dogs. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, has sent the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay to provide humanitarian relief.

The Royal Navy said the U.S. Coast Guard has been using the Mounts Bay to refuel its helicopters and that a team of 18 military medical staff have arrived to provide emergency and intensive care, as well as surgery, to those in need.


©2019 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less