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Florence response: Warships ready to help

The Norfolk-based USS Arlington joins the Parade of Ships as it makes its way past the Statue of Liberty on the opening day of Fleet Week on May 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Norfolk-based USS Arlington joins the Parade of Ships as it makes its way past the Statue of Liberty on the opening day of Fleet Week on May 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Two U.S. Navy warships carrying helicopters and rescue equipment are in position off the East Coast to help with the response to hurricane-turned-Tropical Depression Florence.

The U.S. Navy said in a statement Monday that the amphibious attack assault ship USS Kearsarge and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington are available to provide support if it's requested by civilian officials.

The ships are ready deploy hundreds of Marines and sailors as well as Osprey aircraft, helicopters, landing boats, ground vehicles and generators. The sailors and Marines are capable of conducting search-and-rescue missions as well as clearing debris.

Military officials said the USNS Comfort hospital ship has not been deployed because communities surrounding the disaster area are able to provide adequate medical services.