Home News Two warships with Marines alter course to help with Hurricane Irma aftermath

Two warships with Marines alter course to help with Hurricane Irma aftermath

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USS Kearsarge
Photo: DVIDS

WASHINGTON — The  said Tuesday that was putting two U.S.  ships staffed with  on standby to help FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

 Jim Mattis “approved the use of USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill along with the  Corps to support FEMA response operations for Hurricane Irma,” said  spokeswoman Heather Babb.

It was, however, too early to know where the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge and the landing ship Oak Hill would go, what they would be used for or if they would be necessary. But the designation meant the two Virginia-based ships along with  from the 26th  Expeditionary Unit would not be used to support relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as previously planned.

Babb also said the  had made a list of “possible installation support bases used for prepositioning equipment and supplies,” essentially locations to put relief supplies if shipments elsewhere are required. “But these locations will depend on the track that Hurricane Irma takes.”

The  said last month that the Kearsarge and Oak Hill were “leaning forward to fully support FEMA and Texas” in the aftermath of Harvey. It said the two 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.”

Carol Rosenberg: 305-376-3179, @carolrosenberg

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