CARRIBEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Honorable Peter F. Mulrean, U.S. ambassador to Haiti, visited the amphibious dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) Oct. 9 as the ship began its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in response to Hurricane Matthew.
Mulrean toured the ship with Rear Adm. Roy I. Kitchener, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, and Capt. Randall Peck, Mesa Verde's commanding officer.
Following a tour of various spaces throughout the ship, Mulrean held an all hands call and expressed gratitude towards the service members for their efforts in response to the deadly storm.
"I would like to thank each and every one of you for being here. You are bringing a unique capability to Haiti at an important time of need," Mulrean said. "I've flown over the affected regions from the hurricane and I was on the ground in the most damaged city yesterday. I can tell you it's not only disastrous, it is heart breaking."
Natural disasters have afflicted Haiti multiple times in recent history and the United States has been a consistent supporter of the disaster relief efforts.
"Our countries come together in unity. We have a lot of Haitian-Americans that live in the United States and we're neighbors." said Mulrean. "We're with each other geographically and as a country. Haiti is an important country to us and we will help them during their times of need."
Mulrean also explained the importance of working with the various agencies to provide relief supplies and equipment to areas most affected by the storm.
"It's great to have you here and to know that you're all here. You are what makes the United States respected around the world, particularly in operations like this." Mulrean said. "We all come together and we do what we do best. I can't say enough for you, thank you all."
The U.S. military is working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the government of Haiti, other international partners and non-governmental organizations to provide relief to the people of Haiti at request of the Haitian government.
The role of Mesa Verde during this disaster relief mission is to rapidly respond with critically-needed capabilities to deliver assistance and aid to areas the government of Haiti deems most necessary.