High-speed ferry ships MV Huakai and MV Alakai are preparing to sail to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response to provide disaster relief following the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Huakai and Alakai were originally built to serve as passenger and vehicle ferries in Hawaii but were turned over to the Maritime Administration’s custody when the ferry service went bankrupt.
The ships will be under operational control of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) during Operation Unified Response.
The ships’ main tasks will be to transfer equipment and personnel in the region. They are configured for the mission to each hold 450 tons of cargo and 500 passengers and can travel at a sustained speed of 33 knots.
Huakai loaded a rapid port opening package, communications gear, fork lifts, trucks, Humvees, supplies and other equipment at Fort Eustis, Va., Jan. 27. Huakai will also carry personnel from the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, MSC’s Expeditionary Port Unit Detachment and elements from the Army’s 7th Sustainment Brigade. Huakai got underway Jan. 27 and is scheduled to arrive in Haiti Jan. 29.
Alakai is currently in Norfolk, Va., and is scheduled to get underway for Haiti in the next several days.
Here are some specs on the ferries Alakai and Huakai via Wikipedia:
- Displacement-1646 Tons
- Length-349 ft (106 m)
- Beam-78 ft (24 m)
- Draft-12 ft (3.7 m)
- Propulsion-4 x Rolls-Royce KaMeWa 125MkII waterjets
- Speed-35 kn
- Capacity-866 passengers, 282 cars or 20 large trucks and 90 cars