OKINAWA, Japan - Forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) departed Okinawa, Japan Oct. 1, to commence a patrol of the Western Pacific region after embarking elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
Germantown will conduct amphibious integration training (AIT) exercises as part of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) during the patrol.
"Our role in the ARG is to carry and operate with three landing craft air cushions (LCAC) and elements of the Command Logistics Battalion and Battalion Landing Team from the 31st MEU," said Cmdr. Jason Leach, Germantown executive officer.
Germantown gained its amphibious warfare certification while in port at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, allowing them to conduct amphibious operations during the patrol.
Throughout the AIT period, the MEU will conduct various raids, ship to shore movements via surface craft, flight operations and a visit, board, search and seizure exercise.
The Essex ARG will transport MEU elements ashore via LCAC, landing craft utility and amphibious assault vehicles.
"The crew has done an excellent job of preparing us for the underway period and their work has been astounding," said Leach. "They have made the command team extremely proud."
The Essex ARG consists of forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Germantown and amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9).
The Essex ARG reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.