Sailors and Marines load cases of water onto USS Ashland (LSD 48) in preparation to transit to Saipan and support relief efforts there in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor. (U.S. Navy/Leah Eclavea)

ASAN, Guam – Through the coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, USS Ashland (LSD 48) will depart Guam and arrive in Saipan Aug. 8 to provide relief in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor, which devastated the island Aug. 2-3.

Agencies including the Government of Guam, American Red Cross, Ayuda Foundation and other non-profit/non-governmental organizations have provided drinking water, bed sheets, food, generators, power lines and other electrical restoration supplies to aid in the effort.

Upon arriving in Saipan, the supplies will be sent to distribution sites, shelters and schools around the island to provide the much needed supplies to local residents and government agencies.

“Ashland, as part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Readiness Group, has been underway in the region conducting routine training and exercises. We have precisely the capabilities and capacity, at the right place and time to respond,” said Ashland Commanding Officer Cmdr. Daniel Duhan. “Along with the 31st MEU, we are just one part of Typhoon Soudelor relief efforts. With the collaboration between the Navy, Marines, local and federal government agencies, we hope to make significant contributions to the effort.”

Ashland, forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan, is the eighth and last of the Whidbey Island-class ships to be commissioned and the second U.S. Navy ship to bear that name. She is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations with her crew of more than 600 Sailors and Marines.