The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) concluded routine operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) area of operations (AO) on July 8.
During the ARG’s time in the C6F AO, naval forces on the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) had the honor of representing the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ amphibious capabilities as part of the multinational maritime focused Baltic Sea defense exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019.
“No nation can confront today’s challenges alone,” said Kearsarge ARG Commodore Capt. Joseph O’Brien. “Participation in multinational exercises like BALTOPS enhances our professional relationships and improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries during times of crisis.”
Sailors and Marines on the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) enjoyed time in Rota, Spain for a scheduled port visit.
“The crew had a great time in Rota and I’m proud of the way our Sailors and Marines conducted themselves while on liberty,” said Capt. Jason Rimmer, Kearsarge’s commanding officer. “There are many benefits to serving in the Navy, and getting to spend recreational time in places like Spain is definitely one of them.”
The Kearsarge ARG also conducted maritime security patrols while in the U.S. C6F AO.
“The Kearsarge ARG deployed to the 6th Fleet as part of an ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations and to help preserve strategic influence in this key region of the world,” O’Brien said. “Our nation and Navy are committed to our regional partners to safeguard waterways critical to the global economy while also being positioned to provide the ability to react to emerging crises.”
The Kearsarge ARG was deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, which also consists of Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 2 and FST 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, components of Naval Beach Group 2, including Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, ACU 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 6.
The 22nd MEU’s mission is to provide the United States with a forward-deployed, amphibious force-in-readiness capable of executing missions across the full spectrum of combat and military operations other than war, and consists of four basic elements, the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Air Combat Element and the Logistics Combat Element.