US Navy big decks join hurricane relief in Florida

The Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 conduct flight operations with CH-53E Super Stallions from the flight deck of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). Photo: US Navy

US Navy amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) along with guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) arrived on station off of Key West, Florida, to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

The ships began their transit to the area September 8 and arrived on station four days later.

The ships and embarked units joined the ongoing efforts of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), the amphibious assault ships USS Wasp (LHD 1) and USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51).

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities that were affected by this devastating event,” said Capt. James R. Midkiff, Iwo Jima’s commanding officer. “During times like these, it is important to have the right people with the right capabilities in the right place at the right time and we hit every single one of those marks. We have successfully and safely completed this mission before and we will do it this time as well.”

The Navy’s involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in conjunction with the Department of Defense.

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