Support our mission

The USS Tarawa arrived in Bangladesh on Monday to take over for the USS Kearsarge in a humanitarian and disaster relief effort following a deadly cyclone last month, according to the U.S. Navy.

Kearsarge, under the command of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade out of Okinawa, delivered more than 205,000 pounds of supplies including food, blankets, water and purification tablets, according to the Navy.

It also delivered more than 14,000 gallons of drinking water, which was a critical need in the days following the storm.

The government of Bangladesh has requested hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to rebuild its battered coasts.

“I am extremely proud of the entire Navy-Marine Corps team onboard Kearsarge,” Rear Adm. Carol Pottenger, commander of Task Force 76, was quoted as saying in a new release. The mission “undoubtedly saved countless lives and gave a face to the world’s generosity and compassion.”

Eighteen Marine helicopters aboard Kearsarge transported the supplies with help from the ship’s three landing craft from Assault Craft Unit Four.

“I feel like we are really helping the people of Bangladesh, and I feel very privileged to help to make a difference here,” Capt. Nathan Densford, a 28-year-old Marine pilot conducting his first disaster relief mission, said in a Navy release.

The mission, dubbed Operation Sea Angel II after a U.S. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in Bangladesh in 1991, began on Nov. 24 with airplanes and helicopters delivering aid.

Now, the San Diego-based Tarawa will deliver food, water and medicine to help ease suffering caused by Tropical Cyclone Sidr, which hit the Southeast Asian country’s coast Nov. 15, killing about 3,500 people and displacing 2 million, according to tallies reported this week.

Last week, the Tarawa was directed to Bangladesh from the Western Pacific, where it was on a routine deployment.

“We train for these types of operations to ensure that we’re ready to help in a moment’s notice,” Capt. John Miley, Commander Amphibious Squadron 1, embarked aboard Tarawa, said in a release. “We’re set up to be flexible, that’s how we do things. We’re highly trained, and we feel fortunate that we can reassure our friends and allies of our commitment to the region.”


Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up