USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
Makin Island ARG 11th MEU Enters US 5th Fleet

INDIAN OCEAN - The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations after concluding operations in U.S. 7th Fleet, Nov 30.

While in U.S. 5th Fleet, the Navy and Marine Corps team will support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts to ensure the free flow of commerce, freedom of navigation and regional security.

“Our Navy-Marine Corps team capitalized on every opportunity to work with our partners and allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region as we exercised the spectrum of our amphibious capabilities,” said Capt. Mike Crary, commander of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5. “This team put their training to work and proved their capabilities in 7th Fleet, and I am confident they have the training, determination and teamwork necessary to accomplish any mission that comes their way as we head into the dynamic 5th Fleet operating area.”

While in U.S. 7th Fleet, the Makin Island ARG/11th MEU participated in bilateral training exercises and conducted operations throughout Indo-Asia-Pacific. The series of bilateral engagements, which included exercises Keen Sword 17 with Japan and Tiger Strike 16 with Malaysia, and a theater security cooperation engagement with Sri Lanka, was meant to strengthen communication and coordination with allies and partners to increase our combat readiness and crisis response time.

“These Marines and Sailors clearly understand the importance of working with our partners and allies to learn from one another, enhance capabilities and strengthen relationships,” said Col. Clay C. Tipton, commanding officer of 11th MEU. “When faced with unforeseen events, the team came together to overcome the challenges of real-world situations and I couldn’t be prouder of their performance. Once again, the Navy-Marine Corps team proved its unique ability to put Marines ashore, accomplish the mission and return to ARG shipping without the use of a secured base, seaport or airfield.”

The Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the command ship for PHIBRON 5 and the 11th MEU, amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45). Embarked units, which extend the ARG’s capabilities, include the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, Fleet Surgical Team 5, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 11 and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5.

The 11th MEU is a sea-based Marine air/ground task force comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines; an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced); a combat logistics element, Combat Logistics Battalion 11; and a command element with a commanding officer who leads the entire MEU.

Follow the Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU at:

For additional information on the 11th MEU contact Maj. Craig Thomas, 11th MEU Public Affairs Officer, at, or Lt. David Gardner, Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five Public Affairs Officer, at

For further questions, please contact U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office 011-973-1785-4562 or

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