U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), and the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) entered U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations Sept. 3, after nearly six months of routine operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations as part of a regularly scheduled deployment.
While in the Middle East, the BATARG provided critical crisis response across the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
“Operating as part of the BATARG, our Sailors and Marines stood a vigilant watch while on station supporting the U.S. 5th Fleet mission and strengthening relationships with our coalition partners through our participation in multiple exercises. Over the last six months, the Sailors and Marines onboard demonstrated the ability to handle any mission that comes our way, and I am proud of each and everyone one of them.” said Capt. Eric Pfister, commanding officer, USS Bataan (LHD-5).
While in theater the BATARG, with embarked Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8 and 24th MEU, conducted maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.
The BATARG and 24th MEU participated in bilateral and multilateral exercises including exercises “Eager Lion” in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and “Alligator Dagger” in Djibouti. The ARG/MEU also capitalized on opportunities for training and mutual maritime support with our allies from the U.K., France, and Australia.
Each exercise provided an opportunity to work with our partner nations and strengthen global relationships.
The BATARG is comprised of more than 4,000 Sailors and Marines, assigned to PHIBRON 8, the 24th MEU, amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50).
Also embarked as part of the BATARG are Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, Fleet Surgical Team 6, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, and Beachmaster Unit 2.
The 24th MEU consists of more than 2,200 Marines, including 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced); Combat Logistics Battalion 24; and the MEU command element.
Credit: USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs