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Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group MED 18 Deployment
LHD-7 Iwo Jima
"Uncommon Valor"

More than 2,500 Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) departed the ship's homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, for a scheduled six-month deployment 07 February 2018. The Navy-Marine Corps team will support maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation, while also providing a forward naval presence in Europe and the Middle East.

"We have been training for this since we returned from the last deployment," said Capt. Joseph O'Brien, Iwo Jima's commanding officer. "The Iwo Jima Navy-Marine Corps team brings a full range of capability from humanitarian assistance to power projection ashore. Being deployed enables us to efficiently and effectively provide combatant commanders with sea, air and land capabilities in support of national priorities. Wherever Iwo Jima ends up and whatever tasks are presented our way, these Sailors and Marines are ready to accomplish the mission."

Iwo Jima is the lead ship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which is also composed of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8 and FST-4, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 4.

Approximately 4,500 Sailors and Marines deployed with the ships and squadrons of the Iwo Jima ARG. Iwo Jima's deployment included operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation and, for a majority of the crew, it will be their first deployment of their military careers. "I am very excited to go on deployment," said Airman Michael Goodwin. "I know I'll miss my family a lot, but I know it'll be fun to have this experience and see some new countries at the same time."

The Iwo Jima ARG is capable of performing expeditionary operations on remote shores in support of national policy. Other capabilities include rendering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, promoting maritime security, rescuing distressed mariners, evacuating non-combatant Americans and exercising with partner nations to promote theater security cooperation.

Nearly 1,200 Sailors aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) returned to their homeport of Mayport, Fla., Aug. 9, following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operations. Deployed since Feb. 7 as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the ship provided a ready, versatile amphibious assault capability and vigilant maritime presence to U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet, participating in exercises Juniper Cobra and Eager Lion. It also hosted a 10-day embarkation of 10 Egyptian naval officers to discuss concepts of amphibious naval operations and strengthen partner nation capabilities.

"This deployment was the most high-tempo one Ive experienced in my 25-year naval career, said Capt. Joseph OBrien, Iwo Jimas commanding officer. The entire Navy and Marine Corps team performed extraordinarily well in an incredibly dynamic environment throughout deployment. The Sailors and Marines working on equipment, launching aircraft on the flight deck, conducting amphibious operations, navigating the ship and standing watch down in the plant were all at the absolute top of their game. This is an amazing group of Sailors and Marines, and I am honored to serve with them.

Iwo Jima transited more than 31,400 nautical miles, used more than one million gallons of JP-5 fuel, received more than 3,100 pallets of cargo and logged 1,119 flight hours, flying approximately 10,100 sorties. Amphibious craft completed 2,256 passenger transfers and moved more than 7,000 tons of equipment to and from the shore.

For more than half of the Sailors aboard Iwo Jima, the six-month journey served as their first deployment. This was a difficult but awesome first deployment, said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Ivory. Working with everyone and doing what we are supposed to do is something I wont forget. Also, each port visit we went to was a chance to see something new, take in the sights and try food that I couldnt pronounce or had no idea what it was. Traveling is definitely one of the perks we have of being in the Navy.

Iwo Jima made port calls in Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; Aqaba, Jordan, and Malaga, Spain. The visits helped grow the strong alliance between the U.S. and its partner nations as well as providing an opportunity for the crew to experience cultures from around the world.

The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and includes Iwo Jima, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), the Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Teams 4 and 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron 4.

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and embarked Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departed the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, Nov. 25, 2018. While in U.S. 6th Fleet, Iwo Jima participated in Trident Juncture 18, a NATO-led exercise designed to certify NATO response forces and develop interoperability among participating NATO ally and partner nations. The exercise ensured that NATO forces are trained and able to operate together and are ready to respond to any threat from any direction.

This was an outstanding experience for the Navy and Marine Corps team onboard, said Capt. Joseph OBrien, Iwo Jimas commanding officer. Interacting with our allies in this type of exercise is something that does not occur very often. With all the moving pieces involved, it took the efforts of everyone onboard to successfully complete our mission during the exercise and showcase the strength that is the NATO alliance.

The ship also conducted port visits to Reykjavik, Iceland, along with Oslo and Trondheim, Norway, where the crew participated in several community relations projects and experienced the cities culture, food and historical sites. The ship also hosted ship tours and a reception which brought aboard more than 1,500 visitors, including the Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Norway, the U.S. Ambassador to Norway and the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 24th MEU and is comprised of Iwo Jima, the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), Fleet Surgical Team 6, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staffs of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and Amphibious Squadron 8.




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Page last modified: 25-01-2019 17:49:48 ZULU