UPDATE: USS Iwo Jima and USS New York Ordered to Get Underway
From U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs
Update published on Oct. 7, 2017
Originally published on Oct. 6, 2017
Editor's Note: The departure of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) from Naval Station Mayport is delayed due to a mechanical issue with the ship's propulsion system. The disaster assistance equipment, assets, and personnel assigned to the ship will be re-located to be in best position to provide assistance, as required. USS New York (LPD 21) remains scheduled to depart Mayport, Florida, Oct. 7, and will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico.
Both ships are directed to be in position to support the gulf coast region in the event assistance is needed following Tropical Storm Nate, which is currently projected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall.
Once employed, our Navy and Marine Corps team has capabilities that will be uniquely effective in disaster relief efforts. To support these capabilities, the combined aircraft on the two ships are three U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Marine Heavy Lift Helicopters, six Navy MH-60S and four MH-60R Medium Lift Helicopters.
These 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 skills including assessment and security.
USS Iwo Jima and USS New York steamed to the Florida Keys in early September to provide immediate assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma. While on Station, Sailors and Marines worked along the Lower Keys, from Marathon to Key West, clearing debris from the roadway, distributing food, water, tarps and blankets, and repairing generators and other critical infrastructure, such as water-pumping stations. The ships returned to Mayport on September 19.
If called upon, the top priority of the federal government, while working together to support civil authorities, will be to minimize suffering and protect the lives and safety of any affected.