Navy Rescue Center (NRC) aboard Combat Supply Ship BERLIN during the Southeast Asia Humanitarian Relief Mission
At the time of the flood disaster following a seaquake in Southeast Asia on 26 December 2004 the Combat Supply Ship BERLIN was supporting Operation "Enduring Freedom" (OEF) in the Arabian Sea. Orders were received to deploy the BERLIN to the Northwest Sumatra disaster area in order to operate a joint medical treatment facility together with the land-based medical task force and mobile Rescue Center under unified command. In addition to this medical support priority, the BERLIN was to provide any further humanitarian aid it could in the region, including along Sumatra's western coast. A conference held at the Naval Institute of Maritime Medicine on 31 December 2004 and chaired by the Surgeon General of the Navy defined additional medical personnel and material requirements.
Between 6 and 9 January 2005 the BERLIN had the necessary repair work done in Cochin/India and replenished its equipment in preparation for the mission. The Navy Rescue Center (NRC) on board was upgraded by the deployment of an additional 24 personnel from mission configuration 2 to a modified mission configuration 4, i.e. the highest readiness level (2 surgical specialist sections with additional capabilities covering tropical medicíne, hygiene gynecology and pediatricts). At the same time the previously complied medical supplies and approx. 140 tons of relief supplies from the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the German Red Cross (DRK) were stored on board for distrubution in the crisis region. Other goods of use in disaster relief operations, such as chemical toilets, field rations, water and fuel cans, were also loaded.