The USS Wasp has anchored about five miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey and is bringing aboard a number of helicopters and about 250 Marines in case they are needed, according to Navy spokesman Lt Cdr Chris Servello.
The ship is now visible to those on land as opposed to earlier Navy reporting that said the ship would remain over the horizon.
There is still no official request by either the NY or NJ governor to the federal government for the Navy's assistance. The other two ships should arrive in the next day.
Military cargo jets flew power trucks and crews from California to New York on Thursday to assist with Superstorm Sandy recovery in hard-hit states.
The move by the Air Force came as three U.S. Navy ships neared the coast of New York and New Jersey where they would be ready to help, if asked by those state governments.
The steps compliment thousands of National Guard troops activated throughout the mid-Atlantic to deal with flooding, massive power outages and debris cleanup from the deadly storm that swept through the region on Monday.
Sixty-nine vehicles belonging to Southern California Edison were flown from the West Coast to New York's Stewart Air National Guard Base on five C-5 Galaxys and 12 C-17 Globemaster jets.
Those areas have already been getting help from power companies closer to New York, but the cargo flights meant the trucks could get to the heart of the region in a matter of hours.
The USS Wasp was due to arrive offshore Thursday and the USS San Antonio and the USS Carter Hall were to be in position on Friday.
According to the Navy there has been no official request for assistance from the amphibious landing ships that can launch helicopters, make fresh water and haul critical supplies and other aid.
They will also be available for refueling and command and control of defense department helicopters that are flown on missions.
Three other ships are available to be used as shelters for first responders, if necessary.
The military is also:
– Deploying generators and fuel to impacted areas as well as 120 high-flow water pumps to New York and New Jersey.
– The U.S. Transportation Command also brought 120 medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, into the hard hit areas to care for at-risk nursing home residents and other at-risk elderly.
– The Defense Logistics Agency started to deliver 1.5 million meals to New York and sought to get another 1.3 million to 2.8 million meals per day ready, depending on emergency needs.
Larry Shaughnessy, Jennifer Rizzo, and Mike Mount contributed to this report