Kearsarge Group, Marines to Provide Pakistan Relief

By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristin L. Grover
Amphibious Squadron 4 Public Affairs

NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Va., Aug. 30, 2010 - The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed Aug. 27 to support U.S. humanitarian assistance in Pakistan.

The Kearsarge group is made up of Amphibious Squadron 4, 26th MEU, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall and the amphibious platform dock ship USS Ponce. The deployment of the Kearsarge group was moved up; it originally was scheduled to deploy in late September.

"USS Kearsarge, USS Carter Hall and USS Ponce have exceeded my expectations in every aspect and are fully able to accomplish any mission that we might be assigned," Navy Capt. Larry Grippin, the group's commander, said. "We are all grateful for the opportunity to flex the disaster relief capability of this Navy/Marine Corps team. This mission shows that the U.S. military is truly a global force for good."

The Kearsarge group will work with the Pakistan government to provide logistical support, emergency transportation and supplies to aid flood relief efforts.

"The crew enthusiastically accelerated their deployment preparations," Navy Capt. Baxter Goodly, the commanding officer of the USS Kearsarge, said. "Even though we're deploying early, the crew is eager and proud to be heading over to help the people of Pakistan."

After their humanitarian mission to Pakistan is complete, the Kearsarge group and the 26th MEU will continue with their original mission in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations.

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