USS Bataan Amphibious Assault Ship (Image: U.S. Navy)

(Via The Brookings Institution)

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the past week have dispatched considerable forces to assist in the ongoing humanitarian operation in the wake of last week’s earthquake in Haiti. Some of the more notable assets include the USS Carl Vinson, a 95,000 ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier; the USS Bataan Amphibious Assault Ship and corresponding vessels, together carrying a 2,200-member Marine Expeditionary Unit; and the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with 12 operating rooms and 1000 beds. With Haiti’s primary airfield overwhelmed with traffic, and with the main sea port disabled by the wreckage following the quake, the ability to stage relief efforts at sea has given new impetus to a concept that flourished in the post Cold War 1990s and reached new, heady heights during the early “transformation” years of the Rumsfeld Department of Defense. Sea Basing, despite a recent fall from grace, deserves a fresh look.

[H/T: Information Dissemination]