After being commissioned by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier this week, the USS George Washington reached the Philippines the evening of Nov. 14. Stars and Stripes reported that the Naval carrier, which was previously at a port visit in Hong Kong, arrived at the Leyte Gulf equipped with rescue aircraft full of medical supplies, drinking water, food and other disaster relief aid. 

According to a statement released by the Pentagon, the USS George Washington hosts the Carrier Air Wing Five, an aircraft unit designed for humanitarian relief services. The news source added that the flight wing flew to Japan earlier this week to make room on the carrier's flight deck for helicopters. 

Along with the USS George Washington, Naval aircraft carriers USS Antietam, USS Mustin and USS Cowpens also arrived at the Philippines the same day, the news outlet reported.

"We have ships conducting a variety of missions," strike group commander Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery told the news source. "The USNS Bowditch is surveying water conditions in the Leyte Gulf. USNS Charles Drew and USS Lassen have helicopters that are bringing emergency supplies into Tacloban."

While Marines are already on the island, providing aid and support to the stricken country, officials from the Obama administration told the news source that the number of ground troops is expected to increase.