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San Diego Ships Deploy in Support of Global War on Terroism

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040618-17
Release Date: 6/18/2004 3:35:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Almost 700 Sailors aboard USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) deployed June 17 to the Western Pacific and Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) in support of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).

The ships left Naval Station San Diego to join up with the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) that departed San Diego May 27.

In addition to the flagship Belleau Wood, other ships in the ESG are USS Denver (LPD 9), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Hopper (DDG 70) and fast-attack submarine USS Charlotte (SSN 766).

Marine Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina is in command of the deployed Belleau Wood ESG, which also includes the Marine assets of the special operations capable 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), including Battalion 1/4, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 166 and Marine Service Support Group (MSSG) 11.

Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet has certified the ESG as ready for deployment. Special operations training group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Forces, has certified the embarked 11th MEU as special operations capable. The ESG is at a high state of readiness and fully capable of operations across the entire spectrum of conflict. This includes such missions as humanitarian assistance and non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as combat operations in support of joint force commanders throughout the Western Pacific and Central Command AOR.

The ESG staff provides the planning and staff functions, which enable them to respond to a range of possible missions as directed by the regional combatant commander.

Mobile Bay is assigned to Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 3, homeported in San Diego. The Ticonderoga-class cruiser was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., and was commissioned in February of 1986. The ship has a crew of 360 Sailors and is commanded by Capt. Dan Keller.

Preble is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 1, homeported in San Diego. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was built in Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., and was commissioned in November of 2002. The ship has a crew of 320 Sailors and is commanded by Cmdr. Michael J. Slotsky.



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