Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group Deploys

USS Iwo Jima

USS Iwo Jima

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. See the USS Iwo Jima on calm seas beneath a tropical sunset in this inspirational image. Purchase it as a poster or framed art print at The PatriArt Gallery.

Approximately 6,000 Sailors and Marines from the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (Iwo Jima ESG) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed Aug. 26-30 for a regularly-scheduled deployment to the Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation in support of Maritime Security Operations.

“While in theater, our strike group will conduct Maritime Security Operations to help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment,” said Capt. Brian T. Smith, commander, Iwo Jima ESG. “Our forces will also support the other tenets of the Navy’s Maritime Strategy, which include forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.”

The Iwo Jima ESG consists of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7); the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50); the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17); the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61); all homeported at Norfolk; the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), homeported at Mayport, Fla.; and the fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768), homeported at Groton, Conn.

“Our amphibious ships provide a unique capability serving as platforms to support Marine movements and operations ashore,” said Smith. “This capability is significantly enhanced by our cruiser and destroyer escorts which provide a very robust, additional set of warfighting capabilities.”

San Antonio and Ramage bring new capabilities to the strike group. San Antonio’s departure marks the first deployment of a San Antonio class amphibious ship, and its multifunctional design supports technological advances in landing craft, aircraft, and amphibious vehicles. Additionally, Ramage is the first east coast ship certified for AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense.

“The nature of U.S. Navy operations is to deploy forward with the ability to be aggregated for regional security and deterrence, or disaggregated for maritime security effects, providing combatant commanders a wide range of options,” said Smith. “Our forces are inherently flexible and ready to respond to emergent tasking around the globe to provide critically needed capabilities.”
Michael Starkey (NNS)

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