ARABIAN GULF – The Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 51, Marine Brig. Gen. Carl Mundy, visited the Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) to tour the ship and pass along a few words of encouragement, Sept. 28 and 29.
Makin Island is the flagship for the current Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) operating in the U.S. Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR). CTF 51 provides command and control of the Makin Island ARG and embarked 11th MEU.
While speaking at an all-hands call on the flight deck, Mundy spoke about the high level of performance expected while in the Arabian Gulf and his expectations of the crew while deployed in this AOR.
“You’ve entered a professional playing field out here,” said Mundy. “I say that knowing that you all are worthy, you’ve met the mark on all of your at-sea periods.”
Mundy made no attempt to mask the ARG's visibility in the AOR and stressed the importance of security as it relates to stability and the importance of both in the region.
“You’re presence out here sends a reassuring calm across all the nations that see you floating out here, or that you train with, because they recognize that this is part of the American commitment to come out here and make what (has typically been an) unstable region a little bit more stable. That’s what you’re there for,” said Mundy.
Mundy used the analogy of playing on the varsity team, or highest level possible, with the deployed forces and stressed the importance of building relationships and representing themselves well in order to continue to foster conditions that enhance trust, cooperation and mutual respect with partner nations.
“Every issue that you deal with out here is going to be looked at from that level,” said Mundy. “It is incumbent on those veterans who have done this once or twice, to put your arms around the more junior Sailors and Marines to make sure you guide them and show them the way.”
While hosting generals and admirals is a relatively common occurrence for flagships, the visit served as the first that Makin Island hosted for Mundy in his current role as commander, CTF 51. Mundy recently made the transition from deputy commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force and Commanding General, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp Pendleton, California, to his new role at U.S. 5th Fleet.
“Having Gen. Mundy aboard in his new capacity highlights the importance of our role in the region,” said Capt. Alvin Holsey, commanding officer of Makin Island. “He’s no stranger to Makin Island and knows firsthand capabilities of this ship and the rest of the ARG /MEU team.”
The ARG and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR. The ARG/MEU team provides a versatile, sea-based expeditionary force that can be tailored to a variety of missions in the region.