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Nassau ESG Departs for New Horizons

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050509-09
Release Date: 5/9/2005 11:35:00 AM

From USS Nassau Public Affairs

USS NASSAU (NNS) -- More than 2,000 Sailors of the USS Nassau (LHA 4) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) departed their homeport in Norfolk, Va., May 5 to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in support of exercise New Horizons (NH) in Haiti.

New Horizons began in February when USS Saipan (LHA 2) delivered task force personnel and equipment to the Caribbean island. The task force involved nearly 1,000 Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen.

With NH concluding, Nassau ESG was called upon to support the recovery of forces and equipment. Upon arrival in Haiti, the Nassau ESG will load and transport assets back to the home stations for detachments of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 (Gulfport, Miss.); the 699th Engineering Company (Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico); and the 640th Water Purification Unit (U.S. Virgin Islands).

Additionally, personnel and equipment from the U.S. Army Reserve 400th MP Battalion, based at Fort Meade, Md., and the Alaska Army National Guard 207th Aviation Battalion will embark to be transported back to the continental U.S. for further transfer to their home bases.

“We were specifically chosen because of the unique capability the Nassau ESG brings to the exercise, including force protection assets, substantial storage capability and the experience of moving equipment from unprepared sites and back-loading that equipment onto the ships - and the expertise to make this all happen,” said Capt. D. N. Hartwell, Nassau ESG Commander. “This really benefits the Nassau ESG well, because we have just begun our integrated work-ups for deployment, and this gives us an opportunity to get ahead of the game to practice what we’ve been learning during the basic and unit-level training before we have to work with the Marines.”

Other units of the ESG are USS Austin (LPD 4), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and embarked helicopter detachments from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 28) and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM 14).

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