Editor's note:l Former Merced Sun-Star reporter Corinne Reilly is covering the situation in Haiti for the Virginian Pilot.
ABOARD THE USS BATAAN -- The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan is set to arrive today off the coast of Haiti and its crew quickly will begin working to deliver aid to victims of last week's catastrophic earthquake, the ship's commanders said Sunday.
The Norfolk-based Bataan left home Thursday night with roughly 1,100 sailors, then stopped in Morehead City, N.C. on Friday to pick up 1,300 Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Commanders said Sunday night that details of the ship's mission are beginning to fall into place and that their first on-the-ground operations will take place today. They'll include damage and needs assessments, as well as efforts to set up bases and establish relationships with aid groups already working in Haiti.