4th Lead (Adds corrections)

1500 U.S Marines to arrive in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 January 2005, 11:24 GMT]
U.S Ambassador to Sri Lanka , Jeffrey Lunstead, U.S Commander of U.S Disaster Response Assessment Team (DRAT), Colonel Thomas Collins, and a USAID representative said in a press conference held at Hotel Galladhari in Colombo Saturday afternoon that 1300 U.S Marines are to arrive in Colombo in a U.S Wasp class amphibious assault ship, USS Bon Homme Richard, equipped with a helipad and supporting five helicopters on board.

Bonhomme RichardThe Aircraft Carrier, USS Bon Homme Richard, which is to support full fledged U.S rescue operations in Galle, Amparai, Trincomalee and Jaffna coasts is also equipped with five small scale hovercrafts, the officials said in the press conference. The hovercrafts will engage in point to point rescue operations along the coasts, the officials added.

A C-130 cargo carrier aircraft will also be supporting the rescue effort, the Ambassasdor said during the press conference.

200 US Marines are expected to arrive on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning to setup the required Command and Control system for the rescue operations.

Ambassador Lunstead added that the death toll in Sri Lanka due to Tsunami waves was nearly nine times the total US suffered in the 9/11 incident.

He said that initially the operation would begin in worst-hit Amparai, Trincomalee, Jaffna and Galle districts and the US Marine and the Joint Task Forces (JTF) would engage in “point to point distribution” using the Hovercrafts and Marine Helicopters to carry the relief items to the needy areas.

He said that the number of the Marines in Sri Lanka may go up or down depending on the requirements and the co-operation they get from the Sri Lankan armed forces on the ground.

Asked whether US relief operation would cover the areas controlled by the LTTE, Ambassador said that the US Embassy “will make sure that the relief items reach all tsunami affected areas including the North-East”.

“It is not about the ethnic conflict, but a urgent humanitarian assistance. We will serve all who had been affected,” he said, indicating that the US humanitarian relief items would flow into the LTTE-held areas as well.

Bush administration has already allocated US $ 350 million as tsunami relief to the South-East Asian region.

USS Bon Homme Richard, a 40,530-ton Wasp class amphibious assault ship was built in 1998, is SanDiego. An aircraft carrier with the sam name was built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York but was scrapped some years ago. Some additional details of the ship are:

Displacement: 40,530 tons full load
Dimensions: 844 x 140 x 26.5 feet/257.25 x 42.7 x 8 meters
Propulsion: 2 boilers, steam turbines, 2 shafts, 70,000 shp, 22 knots (LHD 8: 2 LM2500, 2 shafts, ~70,000 shp, ~22 knots)
Crew: 1,146
Well Deck: 267 x 50 x 28 feet/81.4 x 15.2 x 8.5 meters; 3 LCAC
Troops: 1,893 + 200 surge capacity
Cargo: 22,000 square feet vehicle, 101,000 cubic feet bulk
Radar: SPS-48E 3-D air search, SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search, Mk23 target acquisition, SPN-35A air traffic control, SPN-43B air traffic control, SPN-47 air traffic control
Fire Control: SYS-2(V)3 combat system, 2 Mk 91 NSSM control with Mk95 radars
EW: SLQ-32(V)3 intercept/jammer, Mk36 SRBOC decoy RL, SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasure, SRS-1 Combat D/F ELINT
Aviation: full flight deck, half-length hangar, 2 deck-edge elevators; ~35-40 helicopters and VSTOL
Armament: 2 Mk29 8-cell NATO Sea Sparrow, 2 21-cell RAM, 2 20mm Phalanx CIWS, 3 25mm Bushmaster low-angle, 4 12.7mm MG

Concept/Program: An improved Tarawa class ship; follow-on to the LHAs and replacements for the LPHs. Properly should have been designated in the LHA series. The secondary mission of these ships is sea control, with SH-60Bs and AV-8Bs. LHD 8 has been added to the program by Congress; it will have gas turbine propulsion and possibly other changes.

Builders: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems/Litton-Ingalls SB, Pascagoula, MS.

Design: Based on LHA with several changes; 5" guns eliminated, certain command spaces moved from island to hull, docking well and elevators reconfigured, different docking well gate, missiles re-arranged, additional cargo elevators, internal stowage for ship's boats, SRS-1 Combat D/F system.


Latest 15 Reports
24.08.19 02:22  
Tamil representatives urged to boycott OMP office opening in Jaffna
24.08.19 00:04   Photo
Despite ending Emergency, Sirisena keeps SL military empowered with police powers
23.08.19 07:04  
SL Forest Department remains unmoved by uprooted Tamils’ demand for resettlement
22.08.19 06:50  
40 parents of missing persons die within 915 days of protest
21.08.19 18:17   Photo
‘Death certificates’ issued to 500 of 3,500 Tamils subjected to enforced disappearance in Ampaa'rai
20.08.19 20:23  
Wigneswaran warns of bleak future for Tamils, urges planning for next step
19.08.19 19:23   Photo
IC sheds crocodile tears over Shavendra appointment, US engages with his war-time chief
18.08.19 23:50   Photo
SL TID detains outspoken Tamil doctor at Pazhai hospital
17.08.19 23:08   Photo
SLA Jaffna commander refuses to release Palaali lands at meeting presided by Wickramasinghe
16.08.19 13:25   Photo
SL Archaeology Department resumes plans to construct controversial ‘chaitya’ at Koonith-theevu
15.08.19 21:39  
Wickramasinghe lacks courage to meet protesting Tamil mothers in North
14.08.19 23:31   Photo
2006 genocidal massacre at Chengchoalai campus marked in Vanni, Jaffna amidst PTA-threats
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
Find this article at: