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Press Release

MSC PAO 98-66
December 14, 1998
For more information, contact:
Marge Holtz or Lisa Gates
(202) 685-5055

Humanitarian supplies, equipment arrives in
Central America aboard RRF ships

Residents of Central America got an early Christmas present from the United States as military earth-moving equipment and other construction materials arrived in the region aboard Military Sealift Command's Ready Reserve Force ships. The equipment and supplies will help rebuild roads and washed-out bridges that were destroyed by torrential rains following the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.

MV Cape Vincent was the first ship to arrive in Corinto, Nicaragua, Dec. 11 carrying 118,000 square feet of heavy construction equipment, trucks, tractors and trailers. The equipment was loaded aboard the 631-foot roll-on/roll-off ship in Beaumont, Texas, and left the United States for Nicaragua Dec. 3.

Three more ships, MV Cape Ducato, MV Cape Edmont and MV Cape Victory, were activated by MSC to carry additional equipment and supplies to the region.

Nearly 61,000 square feet of additional earth-moving military construction equipment, including bulldozers and trucks, were loaded aboard Cape Ducato in Wilmington, N.C. The 635-foot roll-on/roll-off ship left for Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala on Dec. 3 and arrived Dec. 11.

Another 99,000 square feet of construction material needed for the humanitarian mission was loaded aboard Cape Edmont in Wilmington. Cape Edmont stopped briefly Dec. 12 in Corinto, Nicaragua, to off-load a portion of her cargo before reaching her final destination of Acajutla, El Salvador, to off-load the remaining equipment Dec. 14. Meanwhile another RRF ship MV Cape Victory was activated to transport the remaining 45,000 square feet of cargo from Beaumont to Central America.

Responding to humanitarian missions is nothing new for any of these vessels. This is the second humanitarian mission for Cape Vincent. After becoming part of the RRF in 1994, the ship operated for 149 days supporting aid efforts in Haiti.

Cape Ducato served in Operation Joint Endeavor, a humanitarian effort in Bosnia 1996, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994, Operation Display Determination in 1991 and Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991. Cape Edmont also served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991.

Cape Vincent, Cape Ducato, Cape Edmont and Cape Victory, are four of more than 90 RRF ships maintained in four-, five-, 10- or 20-day readiness status by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration. When activated, these ships are under the operational control of Military Sealift Command.

Military Sealift Command operates approximately 108 non-combatant ships worldwide and employs about 7,500 people, both active-duty and civil service and contractor personnel, most of whom serve in sea-going jobs.