Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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January 25, 2010
NAVSO/C4F Visits Big Horn Prior to Haiti Deployment
From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs
MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. Fourth Fleet visited the crew of Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn Jan. 24, prior to their deployment in support of Operation Unified Response.
During his visit, Rear Adm. Victor G. Guillory spoke with members of the ship's crew of 73 civil service mariners who work for Military Sealift Command and six U.S. Navy Sailors.
"I'm glad to tell you that since the last time you were down there a few days ago things have cautiously improved," said Guillory. "We're going to help mitigate the suffering of well over one hundred thousand people. You represent the critical link to make it all possible. We don't have a sea base without you. On behalf of thousands of people who don't get the chance, I want to thank you and wish you the best with your mission."
Big Horn pulled into Naval Station Mayport to refuel and load food, water and other supplies in support of the Haiti disaster relief.
"We have 79 crew members total," said Capt. Thomas J. Finger, the ship's civil service master. "Out of this group [of civil service officers], everybody made the last deployment, so there is a lot of continuity, corporate history and professional skill within the crew."
As the Navy component command of U.S. Southern Command, NAVSO's mission is to direct U.S. Naval forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. In support of Operation Unified Response, C4F is tasked to coordinate the U.S. Navy's response to disaster relief in Haiti following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake Jan. 12. The focus of Operation Unified Response is to alleviate the suffering of survivors and support humanitarian relief efforts.
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