Following the devastation caused by a massive typhoon that hit the Philippines last weekend, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has commissioned a Naval aircraft carrier to provide disaster relief to the country and its residents.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that the USS George Washington, which carries a crew of 5,000 sailors, is making its way to the Philippines this week, where the Naval members will join about 90 Marines who already landed there last weekend.
According to a statement released by the Pentagon, the aircraft carrier is currently at a port in Hong Kong and will take up to 72 hours to arrive at the South Pacific nation. In addition to the large number of crew members, the USS George Washington also carriers more than 80 planes, including Carrier Air Wing Five, an aircraft unit specially designed for disaster relief scenarios.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told members of the press that several other aircraft carriers are already on their way to the Philippines. Supply ship USNS Charles Drew is currently traveling to the location, as well as the missile destroyer USS Lassen.
Little added that the purpose of these ships' deployment to the weather-battered nation is to provide medical care, supplies and other assistance.