By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Mortensen, USS Ashland Public Affairs
GUAM (NNS) – The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) departed Guam with Soldiers and heavy equipment from the 9th Mission Support Company (9th MSC), Guam Army National Guard to provide continued support to the island of Saipan Nov. 11.
The Category 5 storm, known as Super Typhoon Yutu, tore through the southern part of Saipan and through Tinian, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Oct. 25.
Ashland initially transported 18 vehicles and 22 heavy equipment operators to Saipan using Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) 1633 and 1634, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, marking the first time equipment from the Guam Army National Guard was transported by ship.
“For the past several days we have been moving Soldiers and vehicles as fast and as safe as possible from the ship to land,” Quartermaster 2nd Class John Menichino, assigned to NBU 7. “I’m glad knowing we are able to help by working with Guam’s National Guard to provide aid during their time of need.”
NBU 7 brought onboard 20 Soldiers along with 20 vehicles consisting of dump trucks and supply vehicles for transport to Saipan.
“We are honored to assist the Guam Army National Guard by transporting their Soldiers and supplies to Saipan,” said Cmdr. Patrick L. German, Ashland’s commanding officer. “With the damages the island has sustained more equipment and personnel are needed and we will continue to work with the Guam National Guard to provide help for the people of Saipan.”
The ship recently delivered over 120 Sailor and Marines, attached to Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, along with 50 vehicles to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit loaded with 4,800 gallons of water, 5,400 gallons of fuel, tents, generators, and air conditioning units to the island of Tinian.