CARIBBEAN SEA --
Marines and Sailors of 2nd Marine Division aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) arrived in U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations off the coast of Haiti in support of Joint Task Force-Haiti, Aug. 21.
Marines departed Aug. 18 to support U.S. Agency for International Development following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Aug. 14.
“With less than 12 hours notice, my Marines and Sailors embarked on the USS Arlington in support of USAID’s efforts in Haiti,” said Maj. Mark Paige, executive officer of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “These Marines and Sailors are trained to answer the nation’s call at a moment’s notice and to be ready when no one else is, which they proved and will continue to do. I’m honored to witness the Navy and Marine Corps team come together to provide aid to the people of Haiti and remind the world we are a naval expeditionary force in readiness.”
“As Marines we train to be a force in readiness, whether that means preparing for the next conflict or, in this case, supporting a humanitarian aid mission." Cpl. Bailey Blanford, a 2nd Marine Division intelligence specialist
2nd Marine Division deployed approximately 200 Marines and Sailors aboard the USS Arlington, which includes service members from 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. The Marine contingent is deployed in support of Joint Task Force-Haiti, which was established to provide lifesaving and humanitarian assistance support.
As part of their close and symbiotic relationship with the Navy, 2nd Marine Division is postured and prepared to provide security for U.S. military forces that are facilitating USAID’s humanitarian response efforts in Haiti.
2nd Marine Division Marines and Sailors join other U.S. Southern Command components and U.S. Coast Guard ships already on station, in addition to allies and partners from the Netherlands, France, and United Kingdom.
“Being able to deploy in support of USAID’s humanitarian effort is an incredible opportunity,” said Cpl. Bailey Blanford, an intelligence specialist with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. “As Marines we train to be a force in readiness, whether that means preparing for the next conflict or, in this case, supporting a humanitarian aid mission. My Marines and I are thankful for the opportunity to better support Joint Task Force-Haiti and the people of Haiti.”