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Navy deploys USS Arlington to Haiti to aid hurricane relief

By
Jonna Lorenz
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington departs Naval Station Norfolk to help support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in Haiti after its a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham/U.S. Navy
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington departs Naval Station Norfolk to help support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in Haiti after its a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham/U.S. Navy

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy sent the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington to Haiti this week to assist with disaster relief after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed more than 2,000 people on the island nation, the Navy said in a news release Thursday.

The San Antonio-class ship departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday and was expected to reach its destination by the end of the week, Navy Times reported.

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Arlington joins the Disaster Assistance Response Team, which was deployed to Haiti immediately after the earthquake struck Saturday.

The ship deployed with two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a landing craft unit and a surgical team. It also is carrying 200 Marines from the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Arlington departed for Haiti 24 hours after returning from the Navy's Large Scale Exercise, during which it helped with underwater mine countermeasures.

"When it comes to crisis, to watch how quickly we spin up and support with one ship and a bunch of folks is amazing," Capt. Eric Kellum, the ship's commanding officer said in the release. "This ship is amazing. My sailors are awesome and it's such a privilege."

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The U.S. military support effort includes a total of eight helicopters, the USNS Burlington transport ship and Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

"From the outset, we knew this was a massive earthquake, with potential for significant loss of life, SOUTHCOM Commander Adm. Craig Faller said in a statement Tuesday.

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