The United States Navy has deployed two battleships and the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on a humanitarian relief mission as Hurricane Irma is expected to make a direct hit at south Florida this weekend, CNN reports.
The Abraham Lincoln joins transport dock ship USS New York and amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima, which have left Norfolk, Virginia and are heading south while trying to avoid the hurricane, according to officials.
In a statement, the Fleet Forces Command said, “These ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability including assessment and security.”
Another destroyer, the USS Farragut, was also ordered to join the group, according to the U.S. Navy.
The Navy added that the four ships can deploy three “Super Stallion” helicopters for heavy lifting operations and 24 Seahawk MH-60 combat helicopters for search and rescue missions.
Forecasters predict Irma to have sustained winds of 160 mph by the time it reaches the Florida Keys on Sunday. The National Weather Service wrote in a tweet: “Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe.”