Helos from USS Abraham Lincoln Now Delivering Food and Water to Hurricane Irma Victims

By: Ben Werner

Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Oliver Martin and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Parker Eastman, assigned to the Spartans of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, load boxes of water onto an MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on Sept. 11, 2017. US Navy Photo

Positioned off the coast of Florida, helicopters from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are now delivering food and water to Florida as part of the Hurricane Irma relief effort.

USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and USS New York (LPD 21) are expected to join the relief effort Tuesday.

As part of the ongoing recovery in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Navy and Coast Guard helicopters and ships are continuing to evacuate people and shuttle food, water, and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands and south Florida.

Near Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Military Sealift Command’s dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12) started providing supplies to the USS Wasp (LHD-1), USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and USS Oak Hill (LSD-51), along with 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, which started providing humanitarian aid and medical airlifts Friday. William McLean pumped 620,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 40,000 gallons of jet fuel, and delivered 40 pallets of supplies to Navy units, according to the Navy.

USNS Wright (T-AVB 3), aviation logistics support ship, is expected to leave Philadelphia Tuesday to support relief efforts in near the Virgin Islands. Wright is assigned to the Military Sealift Command Prepositioning Program and carries aviation maintenance equipment to support U.S. Marine Corps fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sept. 11, 2017) Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) fill containers of water aboard Abraham Lincoln in preparation to support those affected by Hurricane Irma. The Department of Defense is supporting Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Irma to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob Smith/Released)

After receiving a formal request Monday for assistance from state and federal agencies, U.S. Northern Command started coordinating rescue and humanitarian missions with the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency. U.S. Northern Command is also working with the U.S. Department of State to assist evacuations from and delivery of humanitarian aid to the British Virgin Islands.

Navy and Coast Guard crews are assessing damage in Florida. A record 6.6 million customer outages have been reported by Florida Power & Light. This represents 65 percent of the utility’s customer base and means about 10 million people are without power, according to the utility.

In Jacksonville, Fla., responding to severe flooding, the Coast Guard reported flood punt teams from Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia had rescued more than 100 people, 50 pets, and conducted more than 1,000 wellness checks since Monday.

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