SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - As part of the broader planning effort to transition from hurricane response to hurricane recovery, FEMA and DoD have assessed the need for continuing the use of certain support assets currently assigned to the territories. Together, they have determined, in consultation with the Governor of Puerto Rico, that some Defense Department assets are no longer needed.
The USS WASP and USS OAK HILL-two U.S. Navy ships-are some of the assets no longer needed. They have provided great value to the overall response effort, contributing search and rescue capabilities that saved lives. They are now proceeding on to their next missions in defense of our nation.
The WASP and OAK HILL's principle contribution to the hurricane relief effort has been helicopter support. FEMA and DoD have determined there are sufficient land-based helicopters and tilt rotor lift capabilities in the territories to continue helping the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as they recover.