GALVESTON, Texas (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) and her embarked personnel departed Galveston, Texas Sept. 23, after completing a week-long disaster relief effort providing essential recovery and aid capabilities to the Texas coastal region affected by Hurricane Ike.
"I'm extremely pleased with the performance of all the Sailors and Marines," said Capt. James Boorujy, USS Nassau commanding officer. "Everyday, we had a long line of Sailors ready to come ashore and help out in any way possible."
Throughout the week, Nassau helped local, state and federal agencies distribute 27,440 Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's), 22,135 cases of water and 44,285 bags of ice to 6,878 families at two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) points of distribution in Galveston.
In addition to the essential supplies distributed to Galveston residents, Nassau provided aid by treating 14 minor medical cases, clearing 1,075 cubic yards of debris and sending a total of 1,129 Sailors ashore.
"We averaged about 200 Sailors a day out in Galveston helping to distribute essential supplies, clearing debris and cleaning up areas of the city," said Capt. Bob Lineberry, mission commander, Navy Task Group Ike.
Many military units assisted Nassau in her mission of providing support to the city, including Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 6, Assault Craft Unit 2, Amphibious Construction Battalion 2, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Fleet Surgical Team 2, all based in the Hampton Roads area, and Galveston Assistance Team-Overhaul Recovery comprised of Nassau Sailors.
"It was critical to have the machinist Sailors from the ship who were able to make the parts we needed to help fix and operate our water system," said Steve Leblanc, Galveston city manager. "I'd like to say a very special thanks to the Navy."
"Our primary focus was on key infrastructure," said Lineberry. "We spent a lot of Sailor and Marine manpower out at the port facility and airport. I'm very happy to hear both sites will be open soon. It was essential for city officials and our nation to get the key infrastructures going so commerce can start flowing."
A few Sailors who played a critical role in providing help to those in need offered their personal feelings on what it meant to them to give back.
"Everything went great with our recovery efforts and aid," said Boorujy. "It's going to take some time to restore Galveston but I think the assistance of state and federal agencies as well as the Navy helped jump start the effort."
"It felt great to be in Galveston helping out," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Terrance Bellock, CPR 6 operations yeoman and Texas resident. "I joined the military to help out and to be able to participate in something like this is rewarding for so many reasons."
Nassau and her embarked units arrived in Galveston Sept. 17 to support civil authorities in the aid and recovery process of the city as directed.
For more news from USS Nassau, visit www.navy.mil/local/lha4.