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Carter Hall Offloads 26th MEU

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110515-08

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristin L. Grover, USS Carter Hall Public Affairs

USS CARTER HALL, Morehead City, N.C. (NNS) -- USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) offloaded the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in Camp Lejeune and Morehead City, N.C., May 12.

The offload marked the end of 26 MEU's deployment, which began Aug. 27, 2010. The MEU and the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group to which it was attached, deployed a month earlier than planned to support relief efforts in Pakistan following floods that devasted that country.

"The 26 MEU and Carter Hall formed an outstanding partnership during this extended deployment," said USS Carter Hall Commanding Officer, Cmdr. George B. Doyon. "The Navy-Marine Corps team worked together as a cohesive unit, allowing us to successfully complete our mission in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility and return home safely."

Carter Hall conducted the offload using landing craft assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4. With those craft and the assistance of the ship's combat cargo department, the evolution was completed in one day.

Combat Cargo began planning with the 26 MEU weeks in advance to coordinate the movement of 87 Marines, 86 vehicles and 75 pallets of cargo off the ship.

"It takes a great deal of organization and planning to ensure that large evolutions like this run smoothly," said Marine Gunnery Sgt. William Baldwin, Combat Cargo assistant aboard Carter Hall. "This was another successful offload for Carter Hall due to the exceptional working relationship between Combat Cargo, ACU 4 and Deck Department."

While anchored off the coast of Camp Lejeune, N.C.; landing craft, air cushioned (LCAC), from ACU 4 transferred gear from ship to shore.

"We had to be ready to go first thing in the morning," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer Linn. "Days like this are extremely busy for us, but it is rewarding to see the results of our efforts in the end. Everyone worked together to get the job done and we were able to complete the offload very quickly."

Once the LCACs removed a portion of the equipment from the ship, Carter Hall pulled into port in Morehead City, N.C., where the remaining cargo was unloaded using the ship's crane.

Carter Hall is part of Kearsarge amphibious ready group which is led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4, and is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) and amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15). Also attached is Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 6, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21-detachment 1, and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 and Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2 detachments.

The 26 MEU is based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., and consists of Battalion Landing Team 3/8, Combat Logistics Battalion 26, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced) and the command element.

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