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Kearsarge Delivers 162,000 lbs. of Supplies to Bangladesh

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071203-06
Release Date: 12/3/2007 4:58:00 PM

By Lt. Nathan Christensen, CTF76 Public Affairs

USS KEARSARGE, At Sea (NNS) -- More than 162,000 lbs. of relief supplies have been delivered to Bangladesh by USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as of Dec. 2.

Eighteen Marine helicopters aboard Kearsarge have completed most of the heavy lifting, while the ship's three landing craft air cushion (LCAC), from Assault Craft Unit 4, are also helping deliver needed aid to the people of Bangladesh.

"I feel like we are really helping the people of Bangladesh and I feel very privileged to help to make a difference here," said Capt. Nathan Densford, a 28-year-old Marine pilot conducting his first humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) mission.

Emergency relief goods, including food, blankets, clothing, water purification tablets and medical supplies, have been delivered to 31 locations identified by the government of Bangladesh.

"I'm very glad that I was personally able to lend a hand in this effort and provide help to those in need here," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class, Jeff Comstock.

Preparing supplies and water for delivery has been an all-hands effort as members from Kearsarge's supply, engineering, air and combat cargo departments who work together as a blue-green team.

"We'll get as many supplies to the Bangladeshi people as possible," said Capt. Andrew Traynor, a CH-46 Pilot from the embarked Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 261. "It feels good to help these who need it. We're doing everything we can."

Kearsarge and the embarked 22nd MEU (SOC) are conducting HA/DR efforts in response to the government of Bangladesh's request for assistance after Tropical Cyclone Sidr struck their Southern coast Nov. 15. The storm killed over 3,000 people and has left several hundred thousand homeless. The Department of Defense effort is part of a larger United States response coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development.

Kearsarge reported for duty to assist in Bangladeshi humanitarian relief efforts on Thanksgiving Day and began to transfer supplies ashore shortly thereafter.

Kearsarge is the flagship of the Kearsarge Strike Group, on a regularly scheduled deployment and departed its home port of Norfolk on July 30.

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