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(Image courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre)

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Cedric Pringle, left, commander of Joint Task Force Matthew, and Rear Adm. Roy Kitchener, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visits Joint Task Force Matthew Headquarters to discuss current and future relief efforts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Image courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) — Rear Adm. Roy I. Kitchener, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2, flew over Haiti Oct. 9, to asses damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.

The amphibious transport docking ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) arrived Sunday after departing Norfolk, Virginia, Oct. 5 to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. 

Kitchener met with U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Peter F. Mulrean, who is helping to coordinate relief efforts across many governmental and non-governmental organizations and agencies. Mulrean visited Mesa Verde to learn about the ship’s capabilities and to meet the ship’s Sailors and the Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) which are embarked.

“ESG-2, Mesa Verde and the 24th MEU are part of a larger U.S. response to the government of Haiti’s request for humanitarian assistance,” said Kitchener. “The U.S. effort is coordinated by the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). We are here to do our part in the larger relief effort to help the people of Haiti after this devastating hurricane.”

Kitchener also met with Rear Adm. Cedric Pringle, commander of Joint Task Force Matthew, members of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and Brazilian Forces to discuss their combined efforts.

“We are committed to working closely with our international partners to provide Haitians with the support they need,” added Kitchener.

The U.S. military has a history of supporting USAID-led relief missions and working with international relief organizations and host countries to aid those afflicted by disasters.

Another ESG 2 ship, the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) deployed Saturday to assist and is expected to arrive in Haiti later this week.



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