Amphibious ships replace carrier in PI

Another 900 Okinawa-based Marines have joined the disaster relief efforts in the Philippines as two amphibious ships move on station.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Joint Task Force 505 welcomed the amphibious ships USS Ashland (LSD-48) and USS Germantown (LSD-42), carrying Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit from Okinawa. Armed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Alan R. Luga says  “Having amphibious ships here, along with the 31st MEU, brings more logistical capability and capacity to augment our on-going relief operations in Visayas.”

The USS Ashland and the Germantown, both dock landing ships, replaced the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which had been operating in the area since Nov. 14th.

“We are very thankful to the United States Armed Forces for sending one of their aircraft carriers to the Philippines and immediately supporting our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda,” Luga said.

Luga added that the USS George Washington played an important role in air transport when most airports are non-operational in critical areas in Eastern Visayas and the amphibious ships have a more robust ship-to-shore movement ability.  The Ashland and the Germantown carry landing craft, both air cushioned and utility, for moving large amounts of cargo and equipment ashore, and the 31st MEU brings heavy equipment which could be used to move debris.

“In addition to the enhanced capabilities of the Ashland and Germantown the Japanese Navy will be surveying the Eastern Coast of Samar and identifying additional impacted areas for relief support,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. John Wissler, JTF-505 commander. Wissler noted “These are more suitable assets, and combined with the naval vessels from Japan, Australia, and other nations, we continue to be postured to help wherever the Philippine Government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines needs us and we will remain here until our unique capabilities are no longer necessary.”

  • shintoshin

    I’m glad to see positive stories about the military at this site now.

    • BlahJU

      There’s always been positive stories here. People just see what they want to see and get their panties in a wad when one of their own ends up in the news for punching a middle school kid or something.

      • shintoshin

        BlahJU, you’re ignoring many of the stories written by Bill Charles; every single story written by him on this site is designed to agitate people on both sides of the spectrum. Plus all the opinionated reporting on rapes and Americans out here. Another thing you can see here, among all crime reports is how they like to refresh your memory of recent events acting as if they are supposed to be related in order to sway the local’s already biased and xenophobic thinking of GI’s. Not also that the word “GI” is used so often here; it’s designed to invoke feelings of occupation. GI is not a term used these days in politics or even pop culture, it is solely used as a condescending term. That’s all I have to say about that.

      • shintoshin

        And if you read the following article written by him last year, you will see exactly what I mean by his anti-US Forces sentiment. If you claim not to notice his biased writing style, then you are either stupid or a liar; and I doubt you are stupid.

        http://www.japanupdate.com/2013/01/futenma-dominated-okinawas-news-in-2012/

        • BlahJU

          Sorry, I must be stupid then. That article is just a recap of what the top news in Japan was and seems pretty accurate to me (I actually do watch the Japanese evening news and read the local newspapers).

          • Huffington

            You see the bias in things you don’t agree with –only–, I guess. I can point out several satirical comments and can give examples of sarcastic comments. Foxnews isn’t always unbiased but for the most part they are. At the same time, cnn and msnbc also have their honest moments but also their eye rolling moments.