Videos: Today's Military

    U.S. Navy Contributes to Hurricane Katrina Cleanup(02:16)

    The Navy can mobilize quickly in the event of disasters that happen on American soil. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, active-duty, guard and reserve forces were assisting other first responders in humanitarian missions and cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast.

    Capt. David R. Pine of the USS Shreveport details several aspects of that mission, including cleaning up firehouses and courthouses. The Navy also set up “Camp Lucky,” a shelter for animals left behind during the hurricane. The Navy’s actions after Hurricane Katrina show how much of an impact Sailors have on communities that need assistance.

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Capt. David R. Pine: Our number-one mission is to provide support to our first responders, both the civilian community, from sheriff's department and local government officials, to our Military that happen to be in the area: Marines, the Army National Guard, we have all different forces that are in providing their support. So both Title 10 active-duty forces and Title 32 Guard forces are here providing that humanitarian assistance disaster relief that is so desperately needed in the region.

The other mission that I have are my Sailors are out there contributing in the ways that they can to the cleanup and restoration of the community. But my folks have been working in St. Bernard Parish for a week and a half, and my efforts of my Sailors have predominantly been is when they're out off the ship, we've cleaned up a fire station — got that back in working order — we have spent over a week cleaning up the courthouse, removing debris, saving court records and other legal documents that are in there. They've all been loaded up onto refrigerated semis to go to Houston for a reclamation.

We've also been helping with Camp Lucky, which is an animal rescue shelter. We've thrown Sailors at that. We've had those veterinarians, in fact, have come and stayed on the ship for the last couple nights so they had a place to shower, and sleep and eat before they went back out there and spent their 18 hours on the field. It's so rewarding, I think, and so — and the crew is so appreciative that the tasking that we got called upon on very short notice to do. Not only are they capable of doing it, and the fact that we're able to do that and do it for our fellow countrymen here in Louisiana, has made everyone just so happy that they're in the Service and that we have the ability to react quickly, and to engage and to assist. And while some of the things we do have absolutely nothing to do with our training, a lot of our ability to provide this kind of support is just a natural byproduct of the training we do all the time to provide support to Marines embarked and ashore.