PEARL HARBOR – The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PELARG) with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Pearl Harbor after a brief port visit, Sept. 25.
The group stopped overnight in order to gather necessary fuel, food items, and several high-priority repair parts prior to entering Pacific and Indian Oceans.
“The end of fiscal year purchases for deployment are still being shipped,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Vincent Miller of Fresno, Calif. “Stopping in Hawaii allowed some of these items to catch up with us and provided enough time to make some last minute purchases locally as well.”
During the visit, Sailors and Marines on board welcomed the opportunity to explore the popular tourist destination.
“It was really nice and tropical. I’m from the Dominican Republic so it reminded me of back home,” said Cpl. James Nadeau assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Headquarters and Support Company. “I would have liked to have seen more. If we get to come back on the way home, I’d really like to spend a few days out at Waikiki.”
In their departure, PELARG paid their respects to the USS Arizona (BB-39) Memorial by saluting as they passed the remains of the sunken World War II battleship, and to the sailors who gave their lives in the tragic events of Dec. 7, 1941. In accordance with Navy tradition, a lei was cast off in the wake of each ship assigned to the PELARG as they exited the memorial site.
“It was a humbling experience. I’m glad I got to be a little part of history,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Joshua Becker of Bradenton, Fla., a participant in the lei ceremony. “It’s not really a good bye, it’s more of a ‘see you soon’. I’m just glad I can do something for my country that only one percent can say they’ve done.”
PELARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), with embarked 15th MEU and is currently underway as part of a scheduled deployment to the U.S. seventh and fifth fleet area of operations.