Release No: 17-008 Sept. 7, 2017 PRINT | E-MAIL
PETERSON AFB, Colo. — U.S. Northern Command began supporting FEMA’s Hurricane Irma response today as the USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrived in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Wasp’s helicopters are conducting medical evacuations for critical care patients from St. Thomas to St. Croix and conducting damage assessment in support of the local government. Wasp, the first Navy ship to arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is providing medium and heavy lift helicopters to transport people and supplies.

The amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) along with the Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are also en route to the area.

The combined aircraft on all three ships include three UH-1Y Marine Utility Helicopters, three CH-53E Marine Heavy Lift Helicopters, five MV-22 Marine Tiltrotor aircraft and nine MH-60S Navy Medium Lift Helicopters.

These ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability including assessment, security, route clearance and water purification.

Additionally, U.S. Transportation Command is providing a C-17 Globemaster aircraft to assist with the relocation of hospital patients from St. Thomas.

DoD is also leaning forward to support states that may be potentially impacted by Hurricane Irma. USNORTHCOM has identified incident support bases at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Moody AFB, Ga., Fort Bragg, N.C., and Warner Robbins AFB, Ga., to support response and recovery operations for the east coast.

In Texas, active-duty military service members continue to conduct a wide array of support missions. For example, DoD trucks and helicopters continue to be actively engaged in life-sustaining commodity distribution, and DoD continues to provide fuel, generators, personal flotation devices, shelf stable meals and bottled water to the Texas area.


USNORTHCOM’s mission is to assist lead federal relief agencies in helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma to minimize suffering while continuing its mission of defending the Homeland.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs