A dozen U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters began flying relief missions off Aceh. The Seahawk is the navy version of the UH-60 Blackhawk, and can stay in the air about two hours per sortie, carrying two tons of cargo, or a dozen or so people. The U.S. Navy helicopters quickly proved to be critical, because roads and airfields all along the coast were destroyed by the earthquake and tidal waves. So the only way to get food into devastated villages, and badly injured people out, is via helicopters. Indonesian armed forces helicopters do not have any undamaged bases in Aceh, so the American carriers, operating from a carrier offshore, provides crucial transport. An American amphibious carrier is approaching Indonesia, carrying heavier helicopters. The navy and marine helicopters can fly 4-5 sorties a day, although this puts the maintenance crews on 12 hour shifts to keep the choppers flyable.