Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Depart U
Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 15th
Marine Expeditionary Unit Depart U.S. 5th Fleet
By Essex Amphibious Ready Group public affairs.
Indian Ocean — (NNS)
— October 31, 2015 — The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 15th Marine
Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO)
While on station in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO, the ARG and MEU supported theater
security cooperation efforts and provided a forward naval presence with crisis
response, humanitarian assistance and combat capabilities. Additionally, MEU and
ARG elements engaged in many operations and exercises, including bi-lateral
training with the French military in Djibouti, and training with Jordanian
marines. The ARG/MEU team also conducted more than a dozen subject matter expert
exchanges with partner nations throughout the region.
The Wasp-class amphibious
assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transiting the Arabian Gulf
Beginning in mid-August, AV-8B Harriers assigned to the MEU's aviation combat
element launched from Essex's flight deck as part of the multinational coalition
participating in Operation Inherent Resolve. The missions continued until
mid-October when Essex began preparations to depart the theater.
The Essex ARG and 15th MEU deployed from San Diego, May 11 on a scheduled
The Essex ARG, commanded by Capt. Clint Carroll, includes the multipurpose
amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock USS
Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47),
as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5,
Beachmaster Unit (BMU) 1, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 1, Tactical Air Control
Squadron (TACRON) 11 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21.
"During the Essex Amphibious Ready Group's time in the 5th Fleet area of
operations, real-world issues and the resultant mission tasking drove the
schedule," said Carroll. "The ARG's success in the region speaks to the inherent
adaptability, versatility and mobility of the ARG-MEU construct and to the
Sailors and Marines who routinely performed no-fail missions with eye-watering
precision in one of the world's most unforgiving environments."
The 15th MEU, commanded by Col. Vance Cryer, is comprised of the aviation
combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 (Reinforced); the
ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines; the
logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion and a command element.
"While deployed to 5th Fleet, the MEU was employed throughout and beyond the
theater, engaging and supporting regional partners, providing operational
support to vital missions, and maintaining readiness and tactical proficiency,"
said Cryer. "The MEU showed flexibility and responsiveness operating across
combatant command boundaries providing joint enabling force capabilities to the
Fleet commanders, clearly demonstrating the value of forward-deployed amphibious
forces for regional security."
With the 5th Fleet behind them, the nearly 4,500 Sailors and Marines of the
Essex ARG and 15th MEU enters the U.S. 7th Fleet AOO to continue operations
there before completing their scheduled seven-month deployment.
For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3, visit
For more information about the 15th MEU, visit
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet,