USS Iwo Jima, USS New York, USS San Jacinto Poised to Support Irma Relief Efforts in Florida

NORFOLK, Va, (NNS) — The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) departed Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 8 to support possible humanitarian relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
The two ships, assigned to Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4, will be joined by the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56).

Iwo Jima and New York pulled into Norfolk Sept. 7 after leaving their Mayport, Florida, homeport to embark a component of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a detachment from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, as well as members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22 and Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8.

All units will be under the command of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, Rear Adm. Samuel Paparo.

These ships and their embarked units are capable of providing medical and logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability for assessing damage and providing crucial aid.

This is the second time in the past year Iwo Jima has conducted this type of mission; last October, Iwo Jima provided support following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

“Many of the crew had similar experiences last year during Hurricane Matthew,” said Capt. James Midkiff, commanding officer of Iwo Jima. “We will apply lessons learned from our time in Haiti to this event in order to be safer and more efficient this time around.”

The Department of Defense is ready to support FEMA, the lead federal agency, and partner nations as tasked, in helping those affected by Hurricane Irma to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort.

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Rear Adm. PaparoRear Adm. Sam Paparo, a native of Morton, Pennsylvania graduated from Villanova University and was commissioned in July 1987. He holds a Master of Arts in International Studies from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science in Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, the Air War College, the Naval War College and the Joint and Combined Warfighting School. He is a Top Gun graduate and has flown over 6,000 hours in the F-14, F-15 and F/A-18 and 1,100 carrier landings.

Operational command tours include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces, Yokosuka, Japan, deploying in Kitty Hawk Strike Group; and Commander, Carrier Air Wing 7, embarked in Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group for combat operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He also commanded Provincial Reconstruction Team, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, executing counter-insurgency operations in eastern Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Other operational assignments include Fighter Squadron 14, flying the F-14 Tomcat during deployed operations in the Middle East and Balkans with John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Groups and VFA-15, flying the F/A-18 Hornet during deployed operations in Afghanistan with Theodore Roosevelt and Enterprise Strike Groups, and joint service with the U.S. Air Force flying the F-15C Eagle with the 71st Fighter Squadron.

His shore assignments include the staff of Commander, Naval Air Forces, as F/A-18 training, readiness and requirements officer; commanding officer of VFA-106; Programming Division (OPNAV N80) Branch head, Strategy and Resource and Requirements Review Board Branch; Navy corporate fellow in corporate strategy at Lockheed Martin; and battle director at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center, Al Udeid, Qatar. Executive staff tours include service as executive assistant to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and executive assistant to the chief of naval operations.

Paparo assumed command of Carrier Strike Group 10 in July 2017.


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