Sgt Stryker alerted me to this:
Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro collegues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:There is way more here. You should go and read it all. For it is good.
" See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier..."
After which he and many of my Euro collegues laughed out loud.
and then they looked at me. I wasn't laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.
I'm afraid I was "unprofessional", I let it loose -
"Hmmm, let's see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?
Something with its own inexhuastible power supply?
Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?
Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?
Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?
Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?
Well "Franz", us peasants in America call that kind of ship an "Aircraft Carrier". We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that's right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with people we dont like. In fact, if memory serves,once upon a time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill us.
Welcome Instapundit readers.
A Nimitz Class Carriercan produce 400,000 gallons of fresh water a day. Of course the whole battle group together could produce more. However, this additional capability would not be used for emergency relief except in the direst of circumstances because unlike the carrier which produces the water from nuclear power the rest of the vessels in the task group would have to use fuel oil burned in the boilers to make fresh water. That means naval oil tankers would be required to make more frequent visits to the fleet for refueling. Refueling also means shutting down just about all other deck activity. Not good when getting food and water to those stranded on shore is critical.
I served as a reactor operator on the Bainbridge (DLG(N)-25). Because of nuclear power we could take just about unlimited fresh water showers. Unheard of in the Navy. Fuel oil is expensive and ship captains are graded on fuel economy. Not so important on a nuclear powered ship. No doubt in this emergency the use by ships company of fresh water is probably way down.