They may be designed to “assault,” but now, Marines from Charlie Company, Assault Amphibian Battalion, are using their Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) to assist the Galveston, Texas, Fire Department with search-and-rescue missions.
Second Lt. Stephanie Leguizamon, a spokeswoman for Marine Forces Reserve, says 56 Marines and sailors from the Battalion are being employed in local search-and-rescue, and she confirmed the AAVs are in use.
Numerous Marine Corps Reserve units are on standby to assist in the storm, and Defense Tech reports more will likely be dispatched soon aboard the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge.
The AAV Company currently in theater is based in Galveston, which allowed the unit to respond immediately. According to Defense Tech, Leguizamon said the fire department requested the unit’s aid under the Immediate Response Authority, which allows the unit to provide 72 hours’ worth of aid — renewable upon request.
Leguizamon said other locally based units are mobilized and are awaiting word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on whether they will be required to help in the wake of the storm, according to Defense Tech.
Defense Tech says the brunt of military response for Hurricane Harvey, however, will come from the Army National Guard, which on Tuesday awaited orders to deploy up to 30,000 personnel to provide hurricane relief, according to reports.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott mobilized the entire Texas National Guard Monday — some 12,000 members — in preparation for storm response — and it appears citizens are happy to see military units are deploying into the area.
Tuesday, Facebook user Joe Denke posted a video from Friendswood, Texas, with a caption of gratitude saying, “Thank you for all that you do!”
Cynthia Espinosa Gonzales posted as well and even though her video is not captioned, viewers can hear the driver say, “That’s the Marine Corps.” Commenters to her Facebook feed are also hyped with one user writing, “God Bless my brothers! Semper Fi!”
According to Defense Tech, active-duty Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, await a potential tasking to board the Kearsarge and provide aid, likely including airlift from MV-22 Ospreys from offshore.
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