USS Oak Hill returns home from hurricane relief

WAVY/ Marielena Balouris

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Another locally based ship is returned home Sunday morning after responding to hurricane relief efforts in the Carribbean.

Navy officials say nearly 350 sailors returned home after the USS Oak Hill left Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Aug. 31 in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The dock landing ship was later redirected to support efforts after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The ship’s commander says they saw a lot of devastation, but the crew on-board the multi-faceted ship was able to help many people on the islands.

“We had a landing craft utility on-board with us, and a bunch of disaster relief teams that we put ashore to actually go in an do route clearance, clean up for mud slides, tree debris, debris that blew around the island so that we could actually get the commodities flowing around the island,” said Commander Nakia Cooper. “There’s nothing that these guys can’t do.”

Gallery: USS Oak Hill in the US Virgin Islands

Commander Cooper says this was a good practice run for the ship, which has a deployment scheduled for next year.

Both the Oak Hill and USS Wasp recently completed relief work in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.