Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune are leaving Haiti.
The military says the Marines have completed a three-day hand off to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. Now the 24th MEU are heading across the Atlantic Ocean for its original destination, the Central Command Theater of Operation. The 24th MEU worked round the clock for a little more than two weeks bringing aid and supplies to Haiti after the earthquake that officials say killed more than 200,000 people. Marines brought over 3,000 pounds of medical supplies and 1.3 million pounds of rice among other supplies.
Marines have overall been deemed successful in facilitating the aid efforts. "The Marines and Sailors were magnificent in their role as facilitators in a much larger relief effort that brought together many nations and organizations in one common cause, helping the people of Haiti. It is hard to capture in words the incredible work they have done and the lives they have saved," said Col. Pete Petronzio, commanding officer, 24th MEU.
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune will be taking over the area that the 24th MEU was in, after being based on the USS Bataan off the Haiti coast. "Our Marines are prepared to move in to assist the people of Carrefour and continue our transition of support in Leogane and Petit Goave to the Government of Haiti, NGOs and the U.N.," said Lt. Col. Dan Verda, 22nd MEU Executive Officer.