President Trump has ordered that 1,000 Marines be stationed in Florida. The Marines drawn from two U.S. Navy warships are expected to help in relief efforts after the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
The hurricane has caused major damage in the state with high winds, massive floods and tidal surges blamed for much of the destruction seen so far. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Marines were assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The 1,000 Marines are now all assigned to the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Kearsarge. They are expected to offer water purification systems for the affected residents in the state as well as air and surface evacuations and heavy lift capacity to clear any wreckage or debris that may need to be cleared.
The Marines will also:
-Do reconnaissance and damage assessment
-Help with the distribution of medical personnel
-Deliver storage and distribution solutions in the devastated areas
The Marine Expeditionary Unit is trained for this sort of situation. This has been confirmed by a statement released by Lt. Colonel Christopher Timothy, an executive officer within the unit. The Lieutenant also added that the team will work with Navy partners to ensure that all the people who need help are assisted.
The warships will have six Super Stallions, five Ospreys and also the Huey helicopters ready for deployment if needed. They have already docked along Florida’s coast and will soon be joined by three others in order to help in the humanitarian effort.
A report on Breitbart News noted that the President has already ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln, a U.S. aircraft carrier, to go to Florida as part of a joint effort to help address the catastrophic aftermath of the Hurricane.
Other ships include the transport ship USS New York as well as the destroyer USS Farragut. The report also indicated that there are other additional units drawn from the Alabama and the Florida Marine Corps Reserve that are standing by ready for deployment.
According to Lt. Gen. Rex McMillan who is the commander of the Marine Forces Reserve, these units are averse with the local landscape and have a strong motivation to help their communities that have been ravaged by the hurricane.
The units have already faced a similar situation after being involved in the rescue and recon operations in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. It is estimated that the units saved at least 1,200 people in Houston. They also delivered a substantive amount of food and additional supplies to help the city get back on its feet. The units have also been praised for providing additional support to the U.S. Coast Guard and playing a major part in the relief efforts in Houston. They are expected to do the same in Florida.