PEARL HARBOR – The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam May 3, after an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Pearl Harbor marks the ARG’s first visit to a U.S. port since their outbound stop in Hawaii on Sept. 25, 2012. It will be the group’s final port visit before returning to homeport San Diego.
“Hawaii was our stepping off point for this great adventure and it is fittingly our transition point for the return home,” said Cmdr. Brian Finman, deputy commander, Amphibious Squadron Three. “The crew is looking forward to a few days of liberty on this beautiful island and to the joy of re-discovering the common and simple things that we have missed while deployed.”
During the deployment, PELARG served as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force conducting several exercises to strengthen regional partnerships, reinforce security, and promote successful interoperability between allied nations.
“The Sailors and Marines of the PELELIU ARG and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit have traveled thousands of miles and conducted a wide range of operations and port visits in ten different countries,” said Finman. “Among our many achievements, we conducted humanitarian assistance in East Timor, Theater Security Cooperation exercises with several Gulf States, and Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. This blue-green team has done a lot and can feel justifiably proud of completing a successful deployment.”
The ARG made the stop into Pearl Harbor to gather supplies, as well as embark family and friends, also known as a Tiger Cruise, who will join the Sailors and Marines for the voyage home for the ride.
“It’s an opportunity for Sailors and Marines’ families [Tigers] to be able to come out and see what we do on a daily basis,” said Chief Warrant Officer James Weisenger from Houston. “I think they’ll take away a better appreciation for what their sons, daughters, and family members do. And they will get an opportunity to show how really proud of them they are.”
Peleliu ARG consists of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.