The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45), with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), provided a vital array of amphibious capabilities to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations during a month-long stay in theater.
The 4,500 Sailors and Marines of the ARG-MEU conducted maritime security operations and partnership building throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific to preserve the free flow of commerce in the region and promote international cooperation. The Navy-Marine Corps team also participated in bilateral engagements which strengthened military relations with partner nations and enhanced regional stability.
Capt. Mike Crary, commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, said the team's deployment to the region brought a critical capability to a dynamic operating environment.
"The ARG-MEU team brings a range of capabilities to any region. During month six of our deployment, we entered 7th Fleet at the top of our game, trained and equipped to perform everything from combat operations and maritime security missions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts," said Crary. "As a forward deployed contingency-response force, we provided operational flexibility for our 7th Fleet commanders."
The ARG-MEU team worked closely with foreign nations during their time in the Pacific to maintain strong relationships, proficiency and readiness.
During their final international port visit to Hong Kong, Makin Island and embarked Marines hosted a reception aboard the ship for foreign dignitaries and distinguished guests. The crew also gave back to the community by spending time with students from several local schools and giving ship tours to local students and Boy Scouts, while experiencing Hong Kong's rich culture firsthand.