USS America completes its first amphibious assault drill

Photo: US Marine Corps

The U.S. Navy’s amphibious ready group assembled around the aviation-centered amphibious assault ship USS America completed a 12-day integrated training event with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) off the coast of Southern California.

The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) joined forces for the PHIBRON-MEU integration (PMINT) exercise.

This was the first of three pre-deployment training events for the ARG/MEU ahead of America’s maiden operational deployment.

During PMINT, sailors and marines in the ARG trained together to prepare for a wide array of amphibious warfare operations, including amphibious landings, flight operations, air-defense exercises, and defense of the force missions.

“You don’t get anything done unless you work together, so it’s a team effort,” said PHIBRON Commodore, Capt. Homer Denius. “The ARG MEU is the definition of a team between the Marine Corps and the Navy which have very different cultures and missions that are brought together to enhance the overall mission of the Navy and Marine Corps.”

Marine Col. Joseph Clearfield, commanding officer of the 15th MEU, appreciated the early integration to combine forces and get the lay of the land prior to deployment commencing. “This is the first exercise for the AMA/ARG-MEU in a very arduous training cycle,” said Clearfield. “But I get the impression this is going to be an epic team.”

Amphibious Squadron 3, the America ARG, and the 15th MEU plan to continue integration during the second phase of integrated pre-deployment training in May during the composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).

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