The US Navy is sending two ships to the Texas coast to assist with ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, with Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, will depart Naval Station Norfolk on Thursday.
“These ships are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and bring a diverse capability including assessment and security,” the Navy said in a news release.
The ships will assist state and local agencies that are currently leading disaster response missions.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already activated the entire Texas National Guard, about 12,000 troops in total. The Defense Department and Abbot agreed to establish a “dual-status command” on Sunday that allows a single commander for all forces—federal and state—to coordinate the robust response.
In addition to the Texas National Guard, 6,300 active-duty troops along with 73 helicopters, three C-130s, and eight para-rescue teams are deployed to the affected area, US Northern Command said Thursday.
The Kearsarge deployed to Haiti for 19 days in 2008 when Hurricane Ike struck the Caribbean nation.