The Marine Corps has flown some Defense Department personnel to Maui to assist with recovery from devastating wildfires, but the new Marine littoral regiment on Hawaii has not yet been involved in relief efforts, according to the Corps.

Marines from a 1st Marine Aircraft Wing squadron based at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, have made two KC-130J Super Hercules flights to the island to transport people and supplies in support of the effort involving hundreds of service members and civilians from across the Department of Defense.

As of Wednesday, more than 100 deaths have been confirmed as a result of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, and roughly 1,000 people remain unaccounted for, according to The Associated Press.

The Pentagon has said the Hawaii-based 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment is “available to provide manpower, engineering and water purification support as needed.”

But Marine spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Hannah Venables told Marine Corps Times via email Tuesday that the regiment “has not yet provided any official support.”

The 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment is a new kind of Marine unit that was redesignated from the 3rd Marine Regiment in March 2022 with the purpose of experimenting with the Corps’ new vision for a more distributed, nimble force.

“U.S. Marines in Hawaii remain postured to support emergency relief efforts to the island of Maui, in accordance with U.S. federal law, and upon appropriate government authorities,” Venables said. “The Marine Corps remains prepared to support once the Federal Emergency Management Agency determines what is necessary.”

Almost 700 Defense Department personnel and 157 Coast Guardsmen are part of the response, working with FEMA as well as state and local officials, according to a Tuesday news release.

According to the Pentagon, efforts range from aerially suppressing the fires to distributing fuel to mortuary affairs, the grim task of retrieving the dead.

A five-Marine crew from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 153 on Aug. 14 flew some Defense Department personnel, including Hawaii National Guardsmen, from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to Kahului airport on Maui using a Super Hercules transport aircraft.

The same Hawaii-based squadron made another Super Hercules flight Tuesday to transport 24 passengers from the Navy’s Mobile Dive and Salvage unit, along with four 463L pallets containing the unit’s dive gear, according to Venables.

Capt. Ezekiel Cary, who piloted the round-trip flights Aug. 14, told Marine Corps Times on Tuesday, “I was happy that we were able to support.

“Joining the Marine Corps, that’s one of the things that I wanted to do, is be able to be ready to support in any way that I can during humanitarian and disaster relief events. I was glad that we were able to answer the call because we were here and ready.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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