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U.S. Navy Joins New Zealand Earthquake Relief

Originally scheduled to participate in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s International Naval Review commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy, USS Sampson (DDG 102) is instead supporting earthquake recovery efforts in New Zealand.

Sampson was already transiting the Western Pacific when it altered course to join the New Zealand-led task force efforts. Sampson’s visit to New Zealand is the first in 30 years for a U.S. Navy ship.

KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Petty Officer First Class Hadley Dykes, left, surveys the landing area from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Petty Officer First Class Hadley Dykes, left, surveys the landing area from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Seaman Jordan Russell surveys the coastline from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Seaman Jordan Russell surveys the coastline from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), receives a traditional greeting from New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), receives a traditional greeting from New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark (left) before a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark (left) before a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with Royal New Zealand, Australian and Canadian Navy officers during a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with Royal New Zealand, Australian and Canadian Navy officers during a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand Defense Force media after a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand Defense Force media after a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)

 

WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The VP-47 crew and their U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft are assisting in life-saving efforts after the Nov. 13 earthquakes on the South Island of New Zealand. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)
WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The VP-47 crew and their U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft are assisting in life-saving efforts after the Nov. 13 earthquakes on the South Island of New Zealand. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)

Also, a P-3C Orion assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 was participating in Exercise Mahi Tangaroa as part of the New Zealand International Naval Review when the earthquake occurred, and was tasked with assessing the area surrounding Kaikoura, New Zealand.

During its five-hour mission Nov. 15, the VP-47 aircrew – accompanied by two Royal New Zealand Air Force airmen – identified impassable roads covered in debris. Additionally, they assessed bridges that were cracked and buckling due to damage by the earthquake.

“Both our aircrew and our aircraft maintainers understand the urgency of these missions and are working around the clock to provide maritime patrol and humanitarian support to the people of New Zealand.”
– Cmdr. Jim Imlah
Executive officer, VP-47

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/11/17/u-s-navy-joins-new-zealand-earthquake-relief/ Jason Kelly

U.S. Navy Joins New Zealand Earthquake Relief

Originally scheduled to participate in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s International Naval Review commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy, USS Sampson (DDG 102) is instead supporting earthquake recovery efforts in New Zealand.

Sampson was already transiting the Western Pacific when it altered course to join the New Zealand-led task force efforts. Sampson’s visit to New Zealand is the first in 30 years for a U.S. Navy ship.

KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Petty Officer First Class Hadley Dykes, left, surveys the landing area from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Petty Officer First Class Hadley Dykes, left, surveys the landing area from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Seaman Jordan Russell surveys the coastline from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Seaman Jordan Russell surveys the coastline from a MH-60R Sea Hawk from the Battle Cats of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 73, attached to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), receives a traditional greeting from New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), receives a traditional greeting from New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark (left) before a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand parliament member the Hon. Ron Mark (left) before a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with Royal New Zealand, Australian and Canadian Navy officers during a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz (middle) commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with Royal New Zealand, Australian and Canadian Navy officers during a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand Defense Force media after a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
KAIKOURA, New Zealand (Nov. 17, 2016) Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), speaks with New Zealand Defense Force media after a humanitarian aid brief. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)

 

WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The VP-47 crew and their U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft are assisting in life-saving efforts after the Nov. 13 earthquakes on the South Island of New Zealand. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)
WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The VP-47 crew and their U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft are assisting in life-saving efforts after the Nov. 13 earthquakes on the South Island of New Zealand. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)

Also, a P-3C Orion assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 was participating in Exercise Mahi Tangaroa as part of the New Zealand International Naval Review when the earthquake occurred, and was tasked with assessing the area surrounding Kaikoura, New Zealand.

During its five-hour mission Nov. 15, the VP-47 aircrew – accompanied by two Royal New Zealand Air Force airmen – identified impassable roads covered in debris. Additionally, they assessed bridges that were cracked and buckling due to damage by the earthquake.

“Both our aircrew and our aircraft maintainers understand the urgency of these missions and are working around the clock to provide maritime patrol and humanitarian support to the people of New Zealand.”
– Cmdr. Jim Imlah
Executive officer, VP-47

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/11/17/u-s-navy-joins-new-zealand-earthquake-relief/ Jason Kelly

USS Sampson CO: Crew Fully Prepared for New Zealand Earthquake Response

PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 13, 2016) – Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), and Royal New Zealand Navy Cmdr. John Chrighton, RNZN liaison officer, view a replenishment-at-sea with Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship Endeavour (A11). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 13, 2016) – Cmdr. Timothy LaBenz, commanding officer of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), and Royal New Zealand Navy Cmdr. John Chrighton, RNZN liaison officer, view a replenishment-at-sea with Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship Endeavour (A11). (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Jackson/Released)

By Cmdr. Tim LaBenz
Commanding officer, USS Sampson (DDG 102)

Families and friends of USS Sampson,

At the request of the Government of New Zealand, USS Sampson and her crew are heading to contribute to the ongoing recovery efforts occurring on New Zealand’s South Island after the devastating earthquake that occurred Nov. 14.

While the ship was originally scheduled to enter Auckland Harbour to participate in the 75th anniversary commemoration ceremony hosted by the Royal New Zealand Navy, we now join ships from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore to offer assistance.

Our prayers go out to the families in New Zealand who have lost loved ones, and for those who were affected by the earthquake – we stand with you. Know that this crew is energized and heading in your direction immediately to dutifully offer assistance if asked.

While we do not yet know how long we will remain in the area to assist or in what capacity we will help, we are fully prepared and eager to aid those in need.

Days like today humble me as the commanding officer of such a capable, enthusiastic and resilient crew. When the Government of New Zealand asked for help, the crew responded selflessly, wanting only to know how we could help and how quickly we could respond.

My sincere thanks to the families and friends of Sailors assigned to Sampson. Your unwavering support allows us to remain focused on this worthy mission.

Editor’s note: This message was originally posted Nov. 15, 2016, on the ship’s Facebook page.

WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)
WHENUAPAI, New Zealand (Nov. 15, 2016) Lt. j.g. Shane Lewis, with the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, examines a chart of New Zealand with an airman from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g Kyle Burdick/Released)

At the request of the New Zealand Ministry of Defence the U.S Navy is providing maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft to assist in life-saving efforts. A P-3C Orion assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 was participating in Exercise Mahi Tangaroa as part of the New Zealand International Naval Review when the earthquake occurred and has been tasked with assessing the area surrounding Kaikoura, New Zealand. The P-3C is currently operating from Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Auckland located in Whenuapai, New Zealand.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/11/15/uss-sampson-co-crew-fully-prepared-for-new-zealand-earthquake-response/ U.S. Navy