SAN DIEGO - Nearly 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed San Diego Nov. 14, for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Navy's Maritime Strategy.
The Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), which serves as the command ship for Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5 and the 11th MEU, as well as the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pear Harbor (LSD 52).
"Our Navy and Marine Corps team plays a critical role in facilitating international maritime security cooperation," said Capt. Humberto L. Quintanilla II, PHIBRON 5 commander. "Global maritime security can only be achieved through the unity of international and regional maritime integration, awareness, and response initiatives.
"The safety and economic interests of the United States and our allies, and partner nations depend on unimpeded trade across the world's oceans," added Quintanilla.
Marines assigned to the Makin Island ARG said they are also ready for the deployment.
"Our Marines and Sailors have excelled throughout our rigorous training cycle, and I am proud to be a part of this organization as we go downrange," said Col. Michael R. Hudson, 11th MEU commanding officer.
"We embody the Corps' amphibious heritage with an agile and scalable force able to do great things from sea or land ,to either solve a given crisis or enable follow-on forces," said Hudson. "We leave our loved ones knowing that we are ready and that they too are well prepared for this deployment."
This will be the maiden deployment for Makin Island, the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship and the only U.S. Navy ship with a hybrid electric propulsion system.
By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects to see fuel savings of more than $250 million during the ship's life cycle, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
"Without question, this ship and crew are prepared to go forward and execute our assigned missions with precision," said Capt. Jim Landers, USS Makin Island commanding officer. "I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of this crew in their efforts to prepare the ship and to meet or exceed the deployment readiness standards."
The mission of the Makin Island ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy's maritime strategy when forward deployed.