A Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1661, assigned to Assault Craft Unit Two (ACU-2) approaches the port beam of the distressed motor vessel Al Manara as a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter pass overhead. Nassau supplied the ship with 10 days of food and water using LCUs and Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) while the ship waited for a tugboat to pull it into port. Nassau is deployed as the flag ship for Expeditionary Strike Group Eight (ESG-8) supporting maritime security operations (MSO) in the 5th Fleet area
of operations. MSO seek to preserve the free and secure use of the world's oceans by legitimate mariners and prevent terrorists from attempting to use the maritime environment as a venue for attack or as a medium to transport personnel, weapons or other material that could support their efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Andrew King (RELEASED)
By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Dean Lohmeyer, USS Nassau Public Affairs
USS Nassau (LHA 4) and embarked units provided assistance to a distressed vessel off the coast of Kenya Jan. 31 while conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the area.
Motor vessel Al Manara reported a need for provisions, engineering assistance and medical attention. The crew aboard Nassau responded as part of their MSO mission to provide supplies, medicine and assistance to the vessel’s crew.
Nassau Sailors worked with Sailors from Naval Beach Group, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2 Detachment Delta, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 Detachment 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 and Beach Master Unit 2 to complete the mission by providing help to the 21 crew members of Al Manara.
The sea state at the time proved challenging, as did the fact that those involved had never worked alongside a cargo vessel like Al Manara. The Sailors’ training prior to deployment helped them to accomplish the mission.
After delivering thousands of gallons of water and food, including rice, chicken, fruit and vegetables to the Al Manara, Nassau’s responders took four Al Manara crew members back to Nassau to receive medical treatment from the ship’s medical department and embarked fleet surgical team. On board Nassau, 12 medical personnel attended to their unexpected patients, drawing blood and doing lab work. Before Al Manara’s crew members departed Nassau, they received a good report from the afloat medical team.
Sailors involved in responding to the distress call say the assistance they provided the crew of Al Manara gave them a sense of satisfaction.
Nassau deployed in early November as the flagship of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 8 and is currently conducting MSO at part of CTF 150 in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
MSO help preserve the free and secure use of the world's oceans by legitimate mariners and prevent terrorists from attempting to use the maritime environment as a venue for attack or as a medium to transport personnel, weapons or other material that could support their efforts. In addition, coalition assets like Nassau also assist mariners in distress as part of MSO.