More than 350 Marines and sailors from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unity are scheduled to return to Camp Lejeune Monday.
The service members helped clean up neighborhoods hit by Hurricane Sandy in New York. For ten days, Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU conducted disaster relief operations in Staten Island and Rockaway, N.Y. in support of FEMA, the N.Y. National Guard, and numerous state and local authorities.
“It was an honor and privilege for the Marines and sailors to serve in support of the community, and authorities at the local, state, and federal levels in assisting the residents of Staten Island and Rockaway,” said Maj. James Zepko, Combat Logistics Battalion 26 executive officer, and officer-in-charge for disaster relief operations.
The 26th MEU was conducting pre-deployment training when Hurricane Sandy struck October 30. The Marines will return to the training Monday as they prepare to deploy next year.
Marines from right here in Eastern Carolina are heading north to help out in post Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
In video released Saturday by the Department of Defense, the 8th Engineer Support Battalion out of Camp Lejeune prepared for their mission. We're told that the 8th ESB is going to be in New York and New Jersey assisting different civilian agencies in pumping water in a number of locations.
Detachment commander, Major Craig Clarkson, has family in the area, and says his group is ready to assist.
“It's a great mission for engineers. We're pretty excited to be heading up there for multiple reasons. Obviously, Marines love deploying. We just recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan and most of the volunteers that go on this mission just got back and want to go again, and get excited to get an opportunity to work within the U.S. It's not something the Marine Corps usually gets to do.”
Major Clarkson says from utility operators and combat engineers to heavy equipment operators, they have a Marine for every situation.