November 17, 2020 – USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and the embarked “Easyriders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 Detachment 7 completed search and rescue (SAR) operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Eta, November 15.
In coordination with Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo) and the government of Honduras, the William P. Lawrence and HSM-37 Detachment 7, supported 10 missions aiding in the rescue of citizens, and delivered 10,500 pounds of supplies.
During the rescue operations, HSM -37 Detachment 7, successfully evacuated 19 people who were taking shelter from flooding on top of a levee and transported them to safety at a nearby soccer stadium. Additionally, they also delivered 1,700 pounds of bottled water.
Combined with the efforts of two U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks assigned to 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, JTF-Bravo, a total of 90 personnel were rescued off of the levee.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of our detachment, crew and aircraft in supporting this mission,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adam Rollins, Officer in Charge of HSM-37 Detachment 7. “To be able to actually save lives and help people who have had their homes and livelihood devastated by this natural disaster is what makes our job worth it.”
When Hurricane Eta caused devastating damage to Central American countries of Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala, JTF-Bravo was directed by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to conduct life-saving efforts in the region. William P. Lawrence, currently deployed to U.S. 4th Fleet, was re-tasked to support.
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 counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.