USS Arlington Departs Norfolk for Haiti Disaster Relief Mission
19 August 2021
From Lt.j.g. Caroline Leya, SURFLANT Public Affairs
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) departed Naval Station Norfolk to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to Haiti in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) led mission, Aug. 17.
The mission forms part of an inter-agency framework lending aid to Haiti, including the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which was deployed Aug. 14 immediately after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred. U.S. Southern Command Joint Task Force-Haiti, commanded by Navy Rear Adm. Keith Davids was stood up to coordinate military support, and Arlington was deployed as a maritime component.
The Commanding Officer of Arlington, Capt. Eric Kellum, expressed how proud he is of his Sailors and the Marines joining the ship on its mission, which began 24 hours after the ship returned from two weeks at sea for activities related to Large Scale Exercise 2021.
"When it comes to crisis, to watch how quickly we spin up and support with one ship and a bunch of folks is amazing," he said. "This ship is amazing. My sailors are awesome and it's such a privilege."
Arlington deployed with two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a landing craft unit (LCU), a fleet surgical team, and a contingent of Marines for additional support.
USS Arlington, homeported in Norfolk, Va., is part of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, whose mission is to provide timely, operational, amphibious expertise in support of national tasking to sustain maritime security and defense of the nation.
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