By Laura Price
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs Office
EL SOTO, Honduras--The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and the “Easyriders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 are supporting humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) efforts in Honduras in response to the devastation left by Hurricane Eta Nov. 13.
William P. Lawrence arrived off the coast of Honduras Nov. 12, to support Joint Task Force Bravo’s (JTF Bravo) mission by conducting familiarization flights, delivering medical supplies, and coordinating with other JTF Bravo assets to identify future HA/DR needs.
These actions support the overall relief led by the Honduran government and build on a foundation of many years of partner relations with the country.
When Hurricane Eta caused devastating damage to Central American countries of Honduras, Panama, and Guatamala, JTF Bravo was directed by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to conduct lifesaving efforts in the region. As search and rescue efforts are being taken over by host nations, JTF Bravo has transitioned from rescue operations to the delivery of necessary aid to communities that have been stranded for days since Hurricane Eta passed through Central America.
The mission has been a collaborative effort between the host nation governments and organizations, the U.S. military and the U.S. embassies in each country. Years of working together has solidified relationships of trust and mutual cooperation to aid in times of crisis.
The mission of Joint Task Force Bravo includes being prepared to support disaster relief operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean when directed. They conduct constant training both on-base and with partners across Central America to prepare for contingency operations, which allows forces to integrate for a unified response when a disaster strikes.
William P. Lawrence is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes countering illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.