The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PELARG) returned, May 14, to Naval Base San Diego following an eight-month western Pacific deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR).
The PELARG consists of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU).
The group left San Diego Sept. 17, 2012, with the mission to provide maritime security, operational support and participate in theater cooperation efforts for the fleets.
“We accomplished a tremendous amount in our eight months of deployment; most significantly, we helped maintain security in a volatile part of the world through missions which ranged from counter-weapons proliferation, support to special forces, maritime security operations, and multilateral theater security cooperation exercises with countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti,” said Capt. Shawn Lobree, commander, Amphibious Squadron Three.
The PELARG participated in a multitude of evolutions including Exercise Crocodilo with Timor-Leste’s military, visited different ports such as Phuket, Thailand; Salalah, Oman; Darwin, Australia, Bali, Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. The ships hosted foreign militaries, performed numerous underway replenishments-at-sea and conducted general quarters drills, fire drills and maritime patrols.
The flagship, Peleliu steamed more than 43,629 nautical miles, received 1.3 million gallons of aviation jet fuel (JP-5), clocked more than 3,600 flight hours – a third more than the previous amphibious group. Sailors and Marines stowed 3,300 pallets of mail and supplies, used the aircraft elevators more than 1,600 times and conducted 22 flight deck and hangar bay drills.
Additionally, the group’s mission spread throughout the Middle Eastern and East African waters, as well as the Red Sea.
“The Navy/Marine Team of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU)performed in a stellar fashion,” said Lobree. “We first began to work together some 15 months ago and we have become best friends over this timeframe. We have been through a lot together and I feel we made a difference while we were out there. We couldn’t have done this without very strong teamwork and a lively cooperative spirit day-in and day-out.”
Press Release, May 15, 2013; Image: US Navy