Three amphibious ships and a rescue and salvage ship based in Hampton Roads
are getting underway Aug. 31 and heading for the Gulf of Mexico to support relief operations along the U.S. Gulf Coast following widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the amphibious transport dock
USS Shreveport (LPD 12), both based at Naval Station Norfolk; the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and the rescue and salvage ship USS Grapple (ARS 53), both based at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek, Va., will join the Norfolk-based multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan
(LHD 5), which is already off the Gulf Coast.
Navy support elements from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 2, and Beach Master Unit
2, all based at NAB Little Creek, will also join the disaster relief effort
The four ships will bring with them six disaster relief teams that include amphibious construction equipment, medical personnel, and associated supplies to assist with the relief effort.
The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations is an effort by the Department of Defense in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.