Marine Expeditionary Unit Prepares to Join Operation Damayan
From a U.S. Marine Corps Pacific News Release
CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii, Nov. 15, 2013 Elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, based on the Japanese island of Okinawa, are preparing to deploy to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines in support of Operation Damayan.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. John Robertson, right, a landing support specialist with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assist a civilian displaced by Typhoon Haiyan as part of Operation Damayan at Villamor Air Base, Nov. 14, 2013. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anne K. Henry
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
About 900 31st MEU Marines will board two Navy amphibious ships, the USS Germantown and USS Ashland, which are en route to Okinawa from their homeport of Sasebo, Japan and are expected to arrive in the Philippines next week. An additional 100 31st MEU Marines will fly to the region.
The ships are expected to bring heavy engineering equipment such as backhoes, dump trucks and wreckers; amphibious assault vehicles; generators; and portable water tanks.
As many as eight MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 assigned to the 31st MEU are expected to fly from Okinawa to Clark International Airport in the Philippines in the coming days, doubling the number of Osprey aircraft available to fly missions.
The 31st MEU Marines will assist with road clearance and with distribution of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies as needed. They’ll also aid relief efforts ashore throughout the emergency phase of operations.