Kristin M. Schuster
Navy Public Affairs Support Element East
USS New York (LPD 21), along with components of Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40 and HSM 46 departed Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Oct. 7, to support the Gulf coast region if assistance is requested in the wake of Hurricane Nate.
The amphibious transport dock ship is carrying four MH-60R helicopters, which can move cargo and perform search-and-rescue missions. New York is also capable of providing medical and expeditionary logistic support.
Both New York and USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) were scheduled to depart Mayport Oct. 7, to prepare for possible requests for assistance, however, Iwo Jima's departure was delayed due to a mechanical issue with the ship's propulsion system.
The disaster assistance equipment, assets and personnel assigned to the ship will be relocated to be in best position to provide assistance as required.
All units are under the command of Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, Rear Adm. Sam Paparo.
Iwo Jima and New York provided assistance to the Florida Keys in early September 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.
If called upon, the top priority of the federal government, while working to support civil authorities, will be to minimize suffering and protect the lives and safety of any affected.