Amphibious Group Three
Commander, Task Force 36 (CTF-36)
The Amphibious Group (PHIBGRU) includes ships designed to transport and support Marine Corps amphibious operations. Typically three or four ships from an Amphibious Group will deploy together to form an Amphibious Ready Group. The ARG configuration will vary with each deployment, but the configuration will always provide the ARG commander the ability to launch and recover Marine helicopters and deploy landing craft, including the LCAC, Landing Craft Air Cushioned, the Navy's amphibious hoovercraft. The composition of the Group runs the entire spectrum of amphibious warfare with Amphibious Squadrons, a Naval Beach Group, a Tactical Air Control Group, a number of ships and typically over 10,000 personnel.
Amphibious Squadrons are built much like an athletic team whose coaching and training staff remain permanently intact and receive athletes only for the season. The Core Staff serves as the "coaching staff" for the different units under its command. These units are referred to as Naval Support Elements or NSEs. They serve on this "team" for one year. A PHIBRON's NSE's consists of an Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD or LHA), an Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD), a Dock Landing Ship (LSD), a Fleet Surgical Team (FST-6), a Fleet Information Warfare Center detachment (FIWC), a Naval Beach Group detachment (NBG-2), a Search and Rescue detachment (HC SAR), an Explosive Ordinance Disposal detachment (EOD), a Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON), and a Naval Special Warfare Task Unit (NSWTU). All elements come together for six months of training then deploy for six months as a forward-deployed, self-sustaining Amphibious Task Force.
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