SAN DIEGO (July 7, 2017) Sailors and Marines, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, man the rails as the ship departs its San Diego homeport for a scheduled deployment as the flagship of the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). America is embarking on its maiden deployment and is part of the America ARG comprised of more than 1,800 Sailors and 2,600 Marines assigned to the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) and America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristina Young/Released)
America Amphibious Readiness Group Departs for Scheduled Deployment

SAN DIEGO (JULY 7, 2017) - Sailors and Marines from the America Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed their homeport of Naval Base San Diego, Friday, July 7, for a regularly scheduled deployment.

America ARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). During deployment they will operate with embarked forces of the 15th MEU, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 3, the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 1 and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.

While deployed, the America ARG/15th MEU team is scheduled operate in the Pacific, Middle East, and the Horn of Africa, conducting maritime security operations, crisis response capability, theater security cooperation and forward naval presence.

"It has been incredible to see the America ARG/15th MEU team come together as a highly capable, lethal, and ready force," said Capt. Rome Ruiz, commander, PHIBRON 3. "Not only did they excel at ARG-MEU integration and amphibious warfare, they spearheaded an environment of innovation and dominated the battle space in the training phases by leveraging the unique characteristics of the America ARG as an up-gunned, aviation-centric task force. I have every confidence that we will succeed on deployment."

The 15th MEU is commanded by Col. Joseph Clearfield and consists of the Command Element; the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced); the Ground Combat Element, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; and the Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15.

"We are looking forward to conducting persistent forward naval engagement and being always prepared to respond as the Nation's force in readiness" said Col. Joseph Clearfield. "This team has worked incredibly hard and I couldn't be prouder of everyone. We are ready to accomplish whatever missions our commanders need accomplished."

America ARG units have spent most of the past six months underway preparing for deployment by completing a challenging and comprehensive pre-deployment training cycle. Integrated training evolutions included PHIBRON/MEU Integration Exercise (PMINT), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), and Certification Exercise (CERTEX), which collectively
ensure the Navy/Marine Corps team is at its highest level of readiness to swiftly and precisely accomplish missions.

"We have trained exceptionally hard to perfect our processes and responses to possible scenarios that we may see during our deployment. I'm very proud of the team work and support across the ARG. I'm confident that through the crew's toughness, resiliency and professionalism, we'll be ready to meet whatever challenges lie ahead." said Capt. Joe Olson,
America's commanding officer.

The America ARG/15th MEU is set to provide senior U.S. military leadership and coalition partners with a flexible force which can rapidly respond to contingencies and crises within a region. With ships, aircraft, troops, and logistical equipment, the ARG/MEU is a selfcontained and self-sustained task force capable of conducting everything from combat operations to providing humanitarian assistance.

The America ARG is part of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 and U.S. 3rd Fleet. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

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