President Donald Trump stationed approximately 1,000 marines on two U.S. Navy warships in preparation for Hurricane Irma relief operations in Florida. The Marines and Sailors will provide logistical and medical support in the wake of the predicted devastation caused by the storm’s high winds, tidal surges, and floods.
Department of Defense officials stated the Marines and Sailors are assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Assigned to the USS Kearsarge and the USS Iwo Jima, the units are prepared to deliver water purification systems; storage and distribution capabilities; airborne and surface transportation; heavy lift capabilities; damage assessment aerial reconnaissance; and the distribution of medical technicians.
“We train for this kind of mission. It’s in the DNA of the Marine Expeditionary Unit to rapidly respond to crisis when called upon,” 26th MEU Executive Officer Lt. Colonel Christopher Timothy said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Alongside our Navy partners, we stand strong and ready to help those affected by this storm in whatever way we can.”
From the deck of the two warships, Marine pilots are prepared to place five Osprey. six Super Stallions, and three Huey helicopters wherever they are needed to provide assistance and support to local rescue and recovery operations.
The president ordered three other Navy warships to the region in advance of the potentially catastrophic Hurricane Irma, Breitbart News reported. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, transport ship USS New York, and the destroyer USS Farragut join the other two ships in preparation to provide humanitarian assistance if necessary.
Other units from the Florida and Alabama Marine Corps Reserve are on standby to provide assistance where needed.
“These are local Marines who live and work in these communities, and they have a deeply-vested interest in helping their neighbors during this dangerous storm,” said Lt. Gen. Rex C. McMillian, commander of Marine Forces Reserve.
These units are fresh off of providing AAV and Recon assets to support rescue and recovery operations in the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey. During the Harvey relief effort, these units rescued more than 1,200 victims, carried out 1,166 welfare checks, and delivered 25,500 pounds of supplies to the American Red Cross. The Marine Reservists also delivered 6,000 pounds of food, water, and bedding to support the U.S. Coast Guard’s rescue efforts.