Thanking the Men and Women of the Uss ``Wasp,’’ Uss ``Oak Hill,’’ and Uss ``Kearsarge’‘by Representative Gwen Moore
Posted on 2017-11-15
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize those in our military who
have worked tirelessly to help Americans in Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Despite my
continuing concerns about the dreadful federal response to the
devastation in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, I know that the
dedicated men and women of our military have been working day and night
to help bring much needed relief to those in need.
Without their help and aid, one can only imagine how much worse the situation would be now.
[[Page E1571]] In the last two weeks, the USS Wasp, the USS Oak Hill, and the USS Kearsarge have returned home or are in the process of returning home. In both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the sailors and Marines aboard these ships cleared roads to ease the flow of people and relief supplies, conducted search and rescue missions, helped deliver much needed supplies, and most of all, were a daily reminder to those they met that our country helps its citizens.
Speaking to the high tempo at which these men and women were working, the Navy reports that during the 68-day period of its hurricane relief deployment, the Kearsarge ``conducted more amphibious and flight operations than would be completed in a routine six-month deployment.'' And I would be remiss if I did not mention the invaluable contribution of National Guard personnel, including those impacted directly by the hurricanes, and those from all over the United States, including my home state of Wisconsin.
I would urge the Defense Department, even as these ships return home, to continue to ensure that its considerable resources and assets remain available to help Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the trying weeks and months that still lay ahead. Our citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will need our help for many months to come and the military must continue to be a key part of that effort.
And I also strongly encourage the Administration to quickly send a new disaster funding request that accurately reflects the proposals that affected communities, including Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, have put forward outlining the federal aid they need to help communities rebuild better.
Again, I salute the men and women in and out of uniform who have been and continue to help their fellow Americans during this deadly and devastating hurricane season. They are doing their part; now this Administration and Congress need to do ours in the coming weeks.