26th MEU Brings Supplies to St. Thomas, Prepares to Assist St. John
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — U.S. Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in coordination with U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have established a logistical hub at the St. Thomas Cyril King E. Airport, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marine Corps said in a Sept. 11 release.
MEU leadership is currently conducting reconnaissance at St. John to assess damage and determine how the MEU might support recovery efforts in the near future.
Using U.S. Navy Landing Craft Utility landing craft from USS Kearsarge and Marine Corps aircraft including MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Super Stallions and UH-1Y Hueys, Marines were able to bring route clearing and aid distribution capabilities to St. Thomas.
Over the last two days, Marines have delivered more than 23 pallets of water, more than 18 pallets of food, and additional supplies and equipment totaling more than 55,000 pounds of aid. In addition, Marine Corps aircraft transported more than 150 British Royal Marines, FEMA leadership and personnel from other governmental agencies throughout the U.S. and British Virgin Islands to support relief operations.
Marines continue to operate throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a coordinated response poised to provide Department of Defense support to FEMA, state and local response efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Another contingent of the 26th MEU is embarked aboard USS Iwo Jima prepared to respond to requests for support.