USS Mesa Verde concludes Haiti disaster relief mission

Hatians watch as Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit unload 50 kg bags of rice at a remote village in the Republic of Haiti. Photo: US Navy

Amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) left the coast of Haiti October 13 after providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support for the island as part of Joint Task Force (JTF) Matthew.

Mesa Verde’s role in the JTF was to support the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which led the disaster relief efforts following the destruction brought by Hurricane Matthew.

“Mesa Verde has coordinated and conducted cargo movement of humanitarian aid supplies, as well as provided logistical support by identifying areas that may be suitable for use in the disaster relief efforts, or that may need to receive assistance,” said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, Mesa Verde’s air officer. “We have delivered food, water, and shelter materials to major distribution hubs, in addition to providing hygiene products and cholera kits.”

Mesa Verde provided the platform for three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU), to airlift 31,000 pounds of humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies.

“This ship functioning as a sea base for the staff and embarked elements was incredible,” said Capt. Randall Peck, Mesa Verde’s commanding officer. “The staff did a tremendous amount of work to be a part of this over-arching relief effort. We fulfilled our mission as a sea base for the staff, marines, and emergency medical care personnel.”

Mesa Verde was replaced by amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and is transiting back to national waters to continue training for an upcoming overseas deployment.

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