Galveston Mayor, USS Nassau Coordinating Hurricane Ike Relief Efforts

Story Number: NNS080918-18Release Date: 9/18/2008 5:13:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) David Wyscaver, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- The mayor of Galveston, Texas, arrived aboard amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) Sept. 17 to help coordinate Nassau's role in assisting with Hurricane Ike relief efforts.

Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas spoke with Commander, Amphibious Squadron 6, Capt. Bob Lineberry; Nassau's Commanding Officer, Capt. James R. Boorujy; and other military and civilian officials to discuss the specific areas where help is needed most.

"It's nice for the city of Galveston and other Texas residents [to] see the Navy and other military units helping the disaster victims," said Sandra Coachman, a federal coordinating officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "It's certainly a huge morale booster, and it shows the United States does care about what's going on here."

During the meeting, participants discussed plans for Nassau, the capabilities of the ship and its crew to support disaster relief missions and detailed job tasking for how assistance will occur.

Nassau and its crew possess many essential resources in aiding those in need and assisting with many different tasks during the humanitarian relief efforts.

"Nassau offers a tremendous amount of capabilities to effectively respond to real-world situations," said Lineberry. "We also have search-and-rescue teams and landing craft units for supply and personnel transfer."

"Within my crew and the embarked detachments, we have a tremendous amount of repair capability that can tackle a variety of tasks," said Boorujy. "I could send ashore a group of 100 or 200 Sailors, and they could pretty much tackle anything that comes their way."

Officials who participated in the meeting noted the positive impact of having the military involved in helping those affected by Hurricane Ike.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for the defense side of the federal government to help with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the disaster assistance for the state of Texas," said Coachman.

"We have a tremendous capability to help support the efforts of disaster response. This is what the United States Navy trains for and is ready to perform at any time," Lineberry said.

Nassau and its embarked capabilities began relief operations on the Texas coast Sept. 18, assisting federal, state and local agencies with their relief efforts.

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Lyda Ann Thomas, right, Mayor of Galveston, Texas, enters an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter.
080917-N-8132M-038 GALVESTON, Texas (Sept. 17, 2008) Lyda Ann Thomas, right, Mayor of Galveston, Texas, enters an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the "Bay Raiders" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HSC) 28 to fly aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) for a capabilities and limitations meeting. Nassau is anchored off the coast of Galveston, Texas, to render disaster response and aide to civil authorities as directed in the wake of Hurricane Ike. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kiona M. Mckissack)
September 17, 2008
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