Coast Guard, Navy Prepare Assets for Nate
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is strategically positioning response assets and personnel prior to the arrival of Tropical Storm Nate to ensure rapid deployment of resources as soon as it is safe to operate and respond, the Coast Guard Eighth District announced. Nate currently is projected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall.
Preparedness of personnel and assets, and the maritime and port community at large are critical to successful post-storm recovery.
Assets currently pre-staged include:
■ Eight shallow-water boats in New Orleans.
■ Six shallow-water boats in Hammond, La.
■ 15 shallow-water boats in Jackson, Miss.
■ Five rotary-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.
■ Four fixed-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.
■ 13 rotary-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile.
■ Three rotary-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Air Station Houston.
■ Three rotary-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.
■ Two fixed-wing aircraft at Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi.
The Coast Guard is repositioning small boats to keep them safe during the storm in order for them to quickly respond as soon as it is safe to do so.
At the same time, Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, has ordered the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York, with elements from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, to get underway from their homeport in Mayport, Fla., Oct. 7, the command announced.
Both ships are directed to be in position to support the Gulf Coast region in the event assistance is needed following the storm. Once employed, the Navy and Marine Corps team has capabilities that will be uniquely effective in disaster-relief efforts. To support these capabilities, the combined aircraft on the two ships are three U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Marine heavy-lift helicopters, six Navy MH-60S and four MH-60R medium-Lift helicopters.
These ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support and bring diverse skills including assessment and security.
Iwo Jima and New York steamed to the Florida Keys in early September to provide immediate assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma. While on station, Sailors and Marines worked along the Lower Keys, from Marathon to Key West, clearing debris from roadway, distributing food, water, tarps and blankets, and repairing generators and other critical infrastructure, such as water-pumping stations. The ships returned to Mayport Sept. 19.