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USS BATAAN, Gulf of Mexico - The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) was tasked Aug. 30 to assist with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.

Two MH-60 search and rescue helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HC) 28, based out of Norfolk, Va., launched at 5 p.m. CST Aug. 30 to assist in the search and rescue efforts that are currently ongoing in and around the New Orleans area.

At 6:30 p.m. CST, two MH-53 helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15, based out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, also flew off Bataan to assist with efforts in the New Orleans area.

Bataan is currently underway in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 100 miles South of New Orleans. The ship's involvement in humanitarian assistance operations is an effort by the Department of Defense in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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