ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) visited the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Sept. 19.
Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy flew aboard Kearsarge to visit with Sailors and embarked Marines from elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. Kearsarge, along with the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), arrived in position off the coast of North Carolina last Sunday to provide Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) from the sea in response to Hurricane Florence, should support be requested.
While aboard, O’Shaughnessy spoke to the embarked Sailors and Marines, toured the ship, and met with the leadership of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and Amphibious Squadron 6. He also conducted an aerial assessment with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 in an MV-22 Osprey over the affected region.
"Thank you to this team for being ready to respond if called upon with the capacity and capabilities you have,” O'Shaughnessy said. "We ask a lot of you, especially the Marines, who were ready to respond even though their homes and community were affected by the storm."
In addition to aerial assessments of military installations, aircraft from the amphibious ships are assisting Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with aerial transport of critical care nurses and vital medical supplies from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia.
The amphibious forces departed Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 10, when U.S. Fleet Forces Command/U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command ordered Sortie Condition Alpha of Hampton Roads area ships ahead of Hurricane Florence.
When states request disaster response support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, USNORTHCOM is responsible for providing unique military capabilities, also known as DSCA. Under the direction of NAVNORTH, Kearsarge, Arlington and the 22nd MEU are part of the Department of Defense-wide relief effort.
For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd3/.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.