Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Aircraft Carrier Role in Hurricane Relief

I heard the other day that an aircraft carrier was making its way from Norfolk, VA to the Gulf of Mexico. My initial thoughts were, "How is an aircraft carrier going to help?"

There's actually a brilliant reason for why this was done, and shows off how a massively destructive wartime weapon, like the aircraft carrier, can become a great vehicle of humanitarian aid when required.

First off, the ship is nuclear powered, so there's no massive Diesel fuel consumption in moving it around. I find this important because that equivilent amount of fuel would be better used for land-based vehicles, like trucks.

Secondly, these things are fully self-contained floating cities, complete with fresh-water generation capabilities. They estimate that the one ship can output 400,000 gallons of fresh water per day, which is just amazing to me.