Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

 

Marines join in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

By Airman 1st Class Jessica Blair | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | September 08, 2017

CHENNAULT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, La.- --

Marines from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst joined with the Defense Department’s ongoing efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.

Marines from Joint Base MDL teamed up with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773, Detachment Alpha who immediately got to work pulling families who were trapped and needed assistance out of the flood water after arriving in Port Arthur, Orange and Beaumont, Texas.

“It was usually someone who tried to move and quickly learned that currents were too swift and the water was too deep, so they became stranded,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Michael B. Green HMLA-773, UH-1Y Venom ‘Super Huey’ pilot.

The widespread flood and damages caused by Hurricane Harvey created challenges for the Marines during their rescue efforts.

“The houses were underwater and whole roads looked like rivers,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Matthew J. Lehman, HMLA-773 aerial observer. “It was difficult to look for people; a lot of people marked their roofs with white towels, table clothes and bedsheets so then that was our go-to to find the houses with white bedsheets”

Many of those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s damage have been left stranded without basic essentials.

“There were a lot of cases of individuals who were running low on prescription medication,” said Green. “So if they hadn’t been picked up by aircraft they could have had [a medical emergency].”

The mission was to provide search and rescue and deliver aid: filling the back of the Hueys with blankets; Meals, Ready to Eat; bedding; and water, delivering directly to aid centers in Beaumont, Texas.

HMLA-773 is also prepared to potentially aid in Hurricane Irma relief efforts in the future if needed.

“Based on the insights and experiences that we gained, we would be ready and willing if we were told to launch,” said Green. “Wherever we can help – we will.”

Together the Marines of HMLA-773, Marine Aircraft Group-49 and Detachment Alpha were able to impact and save multiple lives during these relief efforts.

“Overall it was a very successful mission and we were able to do a lot of good down there,” said Green. “Det. Alpha had [approximately 20] rescues out of the water so we were definitely utilized and utilized well.”

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Harvey Marines rescue helicopter