Sailors and Marines take action to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 17:02:41-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Thousands of Sailors and Marines from Hampton Roads are taking action, aiding in relief efforts following Hurricane Irma.

The USS Iwo Jima and USS New York, both homeported in Mayport, Florida, came to Hampton Roads to get supplies before leaving Friday to support humanitarian relief operations.

Those ships will be joined by the Norfolk-based USS San Jacinto.

These ships and their embarked units are capable of providing medical and logistic support, as well as medium and heavy lift air support.

"Many of the crew had similar experiences last year during Hurricane Matthew," said Capt. James Midkiff, commanding officer of Iwo Jima. "We will apply lessons learned from our time in Haiti to this event in order to be safer and more efficient this time around."

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and Arleigh Burke-destroyer USS Farragut were also ordered to join a group of US Navy ships already underway to provide humanitarian relief after Hurricane Irma.

The Norfolk-based USS Abraham Lincoln left port on August 30 for training off the coast of Virginia and were called to respond, while the Mayport-based USS Farragut was conducting operations off the coast of Florida when they were called to respond.

The USS Abraham Lincoln arrived off Florida's east coast Sunday night with 24 helicopters and is prepared for operations in southern Florida and the Florida Keys.

Two other Norfolk-based Navy ships, the USS Kearsage and USS Oak Hill, left August 31 to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but were redirected to respond to Hurricane Irma relief efforts in the Caribbean.

They join the USS Wasp, which was underway after leaving Norfolk on August 30 for their new homeport in Sasebo, Japan.

The Kearsarge, Wasp, and Oak Hill are all on station in the U.S. Virgin Islands transferring non-critical care patients, delivering food and water.


Mayport-based USS Iwo Jima, USS New York arrive in Norfolk for supplies before responding to hurricane relief

USS Kearsarge, USS Oak Hill may respond to Hurricane Irma relief efforts if needed

USS Wasp, USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill support relief mission in Virgin Islands

USS Kearsarge, USS Oak Hill may respond to Hurricane Irma relief efforts if needed

Watch: USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill head to Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief