USS Dubuque
Decommissioned: 30 June 2011
Marines attach a pendant to the bottom of an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter during a vertical replenishment
Dubuque Transports Personnel, Equipment to Support Pakistan Flood Relief
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David McKee, USS Dubuque Public Affairs
DUBUQUE, North Arabian Sea - USS Dubuque (LPD 8) concluded its roll in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Pakistan Aug. 17.

Commander, Naval Forces Central Command tasked the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PELARG) and elements of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to support the government of Pakistan by providing assistance in the wake of recent flooding.

Dubuque's role was to serve as a platform from which to transport personnel, equipment and various supplies to be used in the southern Asian nation and move them to USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the command ship for the humanitarian relief efforts.

Dubuque and its crew were an integral part of the supply network that moved the delivery by vertical replenishment at sea. Dubuque transferred personnel and equipment, as well as three CH-46E helicopters to the Peleliu to support aid efforts.

"Dubuque is good at what we do," said Capt. Christopher Bolt, USS Dubuque commanding officer. "We battled heat and high seas to obtain the supplies, and then we transited a long distance to bring the supplies to Pakistan."

The movement of personnel and supplies is a complex process that first involved embarking the Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB), members of the 15th MEU. The 110-member strong CLB element provided the necessary equipment and supplies to support the Navy and Marine Corps helicopters operating in northern Pakistan.

The second step was to receive pallets of water and other supplies from USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2). Supply ships such as Sacagawea enable the Navy to remain underway and operational for extended periods of time without having to return to port.

The United States and other nations have recognized that natural disasters are threats to regional stability and national security. In recent years, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations have become a staple mission around the world. The tsunami that devastated several Asian countries in 2004 and Pacific Partnership for Peace are examples of disaster relief and prevention efforts the U.S. Navy conducts to help maintain global stability.

"The U.S. is a fortunate nation in so many ways, and I am proud that we have the resources to provide relief to the Pakistani people as they weather the flooding in their nation," said Bolt.

Dubuque will return to her scheduled maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

Dubuque is deployed with elements of the 15th MEU including the Battalion Landing Team, Force Reconnaissance, the Aviation Combat Element, and the Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1629 from Assault Craft Unit One.

The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, under the command of Amphibious Squadron 3 and the embarked 15th MEU, serves as the theater reserve force for U.S. Central Command.

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